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Shawn Marion and the defense hold key to Mav's playoff chances

There are few teams in the NBA that are as exciting and explosive as the Dallas Mavericks when they are clicking on all cylinders offensively. Led of course by Dirk Nowitzki, who is quietly having another stellar year offensively, the Mavs have a formidable offensive attack. Overshadowed this year by the likes of LeBron and Durant, Dirk continues to add to his already future hall of fame resume. He is in the top 10 in the league in scoring, top 25 in rebounding, and earlier this week won the NBA’s player of the week award for an almost unprecedented fourth time this year. With a better supporting cast since the deadline trade with Washington, the Mavs seem more prepared than in recent memory to make a championship run. Caron Butler is a more than capable scorer from the wing and plays the kind of tough defense that is invaluable come playoff time. Butler’s biggest contribution however, might come in the form of toughness that he’s brought to the team since he first stepped on the court in a Dallas uniform. Brendon Heywood has been an integral addition as well as he has given the team more than they possibly could have expected. The rebounding and inside presence he’s added to go along with Dampier, is exactly what the team had been missing in previous playoff disappointments. Even the rookie sensation, Roddy B has brought an energy and excitement not typical of a raw 20 year old in his first NBA season. The youthful spark he provides to such a veteran team should not go unnoticed. Who better for the young point guard of the future to learn from than another future hall of famer, Jason Kidd. During the Mavericks 13 game win streak earlier this year, it was Jason Kidd’s play that inspired the team as they continued to stockpile the wins. Anyone who witnessed Kidd’s alley-oop, off the backboard pass to a flying Shawn Marion the other night, saw he might be getting back to that form at just the right time. Needless to say, Shawn Marion looked pretty healthy in his first game back from injury on that same play as well. That is what Mavs fans should be most excited about. Despite all the other significant pieces, none is more important than the health of the Mavericks starting forward. When healthy, the Maverick swingman is a lock down defender who changes games with his defensive tenacity. Although Shawn has raised some eyebrows lately with his offensive production, Carlisle considers anything offensively a huge bonus from his defensive stopper. Marion makes his most meaningful contributions on the defensive end of the floor.Marion also makes Carlisle’s job much easier since he never has to draw up any plays for him and he still finds ways to contribute, even offensively. It’s a role that many players might not enjoy, being charged with stopping the best player on the other team every night out. It’s a role however, that Shawn has embraced and one he now takes great pride in. He realizes he doesn’t have too many years left in the league, and winning a championship is the only thing that matters at this stage of his career. That’s great news for the Mavericks, as he could be the key to a long, successful playoff run. The NBA playoffs are so great in part because anything can happen, but you have to like your chances against Kobe or Carmelo a whole lot better with Shawn Marion on your side.


  1. This is all very true! I love the way this is written. It is very nice choice of words and gives our mavs the light they deserve!!

  2. This piece was well thought out, original, and entertaining. If this is the caliber of sports writing that can be found on this site, then here is where I will be reading about my Mavs. Keep up the excellent work, my fellow fan.