Shootaround report: Marion doubtful, Mavs concentrate on containing Harden
Earl K. Sneed reports from Houston at the Dallas Mavericks' Saturday morning shootaround, where four-time All-Star Shawn Marion was ruled doubtful for the team's showdown against the rival Rockets due to a strained right groin injury.
Shootaround report: Mavericks (9-10) at Rockets (9-9)
Marion doubtful, Mavs concentrate on containing Harden
Losing forward Shawn Marion in the third quarter of Thursday night’s 97-94 win in Phoenix due to a strained right groin, the Mavericks (9-10) may have to attempt to collect their eighth straight win over the Rockets (9-9) without their defensive specialist after the four-time All-Star was a light participant in the team’s morning shootaround. And with the groin still bothering him, Marion’s status is listed as doubtful for the showdown as the Mavs try to slow down Harden and the high-octane Houston offense in the final test of a three-game road trip.
“It’s still bothering me, man, so for right now I’m just trying to be precautious and take it slowly,” Marion said of the minor injury. “I did a little bit, but I couldn’t do too much today. It was still bothering me, so we’ll see what happens when I get out there tonight.”
He added: “How many people you know can pull a groin and be back in two days? This is one of the worst injuries and one of the worst areas. You can (mess) around and make it worse than what it is, so I don’t want to play around with it either. I want to make sure I take it right.”
Fortunately for the Mavs’ sake, they could have the services of center Chris Kaman in the lineup after he also left the win in Phoenix in the second half due to a sprained left ankle. But even with the 7-footer seemingly doing better, coach Rick Carlisle admits that the Mavs will need everyone at their best in order to slow down Harden’s 23.9 points a night.
“Well, he’s their leading scorer with 24 a game and one of the league leaders in free throw attempts, so he’s a major positive impact. No question about that,” Carlisle said of Harden’s addition to the Rockets after the Oct. 28 trade with Oklahoma City. “He’s really a difficult matchup for anybody who plays these guys, so we’re going to have to have the posse ready to throw different guys at him.”
Note: The Mavs will conclude their road trip Saturday night in Houston against the Southwest Division rival Rockets. It is the first of four meetings between the two teams this season. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7 p.m. CT.