On Friday night, Shawn Marion proved once again why his presence is valuable for the Dallas Mavericks. Having missed the previous eight games with a calf injury, Marion made his presence known against the Boston Celtics. Marion’s play helped the Mavericks beat Boston 104 – 94.
Marion, who averages 11.6 points per game and eight rebounds, had 11 points and 13 rebounds against the Celtics. Rebounding is something the Mavericks have missed from Marion. While he was out, the Mavericks went 5 – 3. However, in the three losses they were out-rebounded by double digits. Against Boston, five of his rebounds were offensive rebounds.
Rebounding isn’t the only thing the Mavericks missed while Marion is gone. Marion is arguably the best defender the Mavericks have. His quickness and long arms allow him to help contain perimeter players like Manu Ginobili, Kevin Durant or Deron Williams. Coach Rick Carlisle made mention about how he felt Marion would have made a difference Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets if he was guarding Williams.
Besides rebounding and defense Marion also brings veteran leadership to the Mavericks. Playing in his 14th season, Marion knows what it takes to win in the NBA. Marion has played with some great players, including Steve Nash, Dwayne Wade and currently Dirk Nowitzki. Marion was very influential in the championship run of 2011.
It’s these intangibles Marion brings to the table that will hopefully propel the Mavericks into the playoffs. The Mavericks have enough scoring options. They need someone that will step up and play defense and be the leader in the locker room.