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News » Ross becoming key in Mavs' line of defense Swingman has shown he can help put limits on league's top scorers

Ross becoming key in Mavs' line of defense Swingman has shown he can help put limits on league's top scorers

Ross becoming key in Mavs' line of defense Swingman has shown he can help put limits on league's top scorers Quinton Ross saw the box score that showed LeBron James shooting 3-for-13 from the field and tried to elaborate on what that meant.

In a word, nothing.

"It's the preseason," Ross said. "You can't get too excited about it. He'll be a different LeBron in the regular season."

That's true, but it's also clear as the exhibition games dwindle that Ross is doing exactly what he was brought in to do for the Mavericks . He's not afraid to defend anybody. He's done it in practices and he's done it in games against some of the best players in the NBA.

If the Mavericks are to make good on their promise to be a better defensive team this season, Ross will have to play a role in it. The 6-6 swingman and former SMU star has the quickness, wingspan and want-to that make him one of the few Mavericks who can play straight-up defense with the best of them.

Against James on Tuesday in Pittsburgh, Ross tried to force the Cleveland Cavaliers' star to do things he'd rather not do. But in the end, when you're guarding one of the league's best offensive players, you do it as a team.

"It's hard," Ross said. "He's so tough of a matchup. I guess you'd rather see him shooting jumpers than getting to the rim. But you have to get help from somebody against him."

As coach Rick Carlisle said: "LeBron didn't shoot it great, and I thought the whole team did a good job of loading up on him."

What makes Ross vital to the Mavericks is that he can guard players bigger and stronger than he is, like James and Carmelo Anthony, or smaller, quicker guards like Kobe Bryant or Chris Paul.

"He'll get after you," Jason Terry said. "I like the way he plays defense. He reminds me a little of Adrian Griffin. He's solid."

Marion on deck? Shawn Marion probably will try to play in Friday's exhibition finale at Houston.

"That's the plan," he said after Tuesday's game. "We'll see how it goes between now and then."

Josh Howard is not expected to play, although he has been making progress in practices. His status for the regular-season opener is uncertain.

Cuban sizes up steroids: Owner Mark Cuban talked with students at the University of Pittsburgh during the Mavericks' trip there Tuesday and got a question about steroids.

He responded that he could see the day when steroids were no different than major surgery for elite athletes and that if long-term effects of steroids could be eliminated, he wouldn't have a problem with athletes using them.

"How is it different than getting Lasik surgery so you can have perfect vision?" he said. "Or how is it different than Tommy John surgery so you can get a perfect elbow?"

Cuban was quick to add that until risk-free steroids are invented, he'd be against it.

Briefly: The Mavericks arrived home at about 1 a.m. Wednesday and were given the rest of the day off. They resume practicing today. ... Statistics heavily favored the Cavaliers in the 96-66 whipping they put on the Mavericks . Points in the paint favored Cleveland, 42-14, and fast-break points were 19-6 in the Cavs' favor.

CHAT with Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson at 12:30 p.m. today on the Mavericks blog.

Mavericks SCHEDULE



Day Date Opponent TV Time

Fri 23 at Houston Ch. 21 7:30



Day Date Opponent TV Time

Tue 27 Washington FSSW 7:30

Fri 30 at LA Lakers Ch. 21/ESPN 9:30

Sat 31 at LA Clippers Ch. 21 9:30

7:30 p.m. Friday (Ch. 21)

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: October 23, 2009


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