Mavs have to pick a poison, will stick with Marion on Kevin Durant
Should the Mavericks switch Shawn Marion onto Russell Westbrook in their first round series against the Thunder?
You're not going to shut down Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. It's just not going to happen. You have to live with one of them torching you, burning you up like hydrogen when they're a blowtorch. It's just the reality of how talented the Thunder's offensive unit is. But the Mavericks have done a pretty incredible job on Kevin Durant.
The scoring champ is shooting 15 of 44 from the field for a woeful 37.5 effective field goal percentage (factoring three-pointers). Shawn Marion, who it should be noted, finished 8th in the defensive player of the year, has held Thunder opponents to 3 of 13 shooting in this series on jumpshots, and is allowing just .733 points per possessions according to Synergy Sports.
But with Russell Westbrook shooting 52 percent and averaging 29 points per 36 minutes in this series, the question has to be asked whether Marion's main assignment should be to switch to the powerhouse point guard and not the lanky jump shooter. But the Mavs, via the Dallas Morning News, say that th Matrix will stick with the blue pill (Durant) for now.
"Can we live with him scoring 28 a game?" Carlisle said, rhetorically. "That's a lot. It would be one thing if we were winning the games. At this point, when we're down 0-2, we've got to do better on him."
What about sliding Marion over to Westbrook?
"Possibly," Carlisle said. "But look, you're talking about taking your best defender and a guy that was a real candidate for defensive player of the year off a guy he's doing a great job on to put him on another guy.
"We can look at it at different times of the games, but let's not forget how great Durant is. He's in the MVP conversation. They present a lot of problems, and we're working on solutions."
via Pick your poison: Marion not taking Westbrook, yet | Dallas Mavericks Blog | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | The Dallas Morning News.
Carlisle's spot on, here. Marion no longer has the lateral quickness to stick in front of Westbrook (as if anyone does), and his work on bothering and bodying the scoring champ is much more effective. Durant can go off for 40 any given time. Westbrook can as well, that's what makes the Thunder so dangerous. But the Mavericks have been right there with a chance to win in Games 1 and 2, and just haven't gotten the daggers to fall. Theres no reason to change the formula, just tweak it.
Keep the Durantual under wraps as long as you can.
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