Marion Is X-Factor Against Spurs

With the Dallas Mavericks, the team once again got a bit faster for the Dallas Mavericks.

They love to play fast and with Derek Fisher gone, Darren Collison and Roddy Beaubois will make sure that happens. This might give the Mavericks an upper hand against the Spurs, but their advantage isn't in the any guard position, but in the power forward position with Shawn Marion. The "Matrix" (as he was known during his Phoenix Suns days) started his career as a small forward but moved to power forward during the Mike D'Antoni Run and Gun days in the desert and has thrived in this position. The skills he brings to the four position is what should give Dallas an advantage against San Antonio.

Marion's speed will play a big role if Gregg Popovich decides to start Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter. He plays well when he roams around on offense and no plays are called for him which will be difficult for a traditional big to be occupied with a motioning Marion and protecting the basket from speedy guards. He can also hit an occasional three pointer (31% this season) and may force a slower big to come out and guard him in the perimeter. This opens up a lot of possibilities for Dallas because Marion can shoot the shot or cut to the basket with his quicker feet for a layup or dunk.

His defense is also very good for his size and for being undersized. His strong upper body makes it difficult for some bigs to back him down in the paint and his wing span makes it perfect for him to contest an outside shot over a taller player. He's also very versatile in that if the Spurs were to want to have a switch on a pick and roll, Marion's speed and defensive mindset will make it very difficult for the guard to get to the basket.

Look for Shawn Marion's productivity to be a big factor in deciding if the Mavericks can defeat the Spurs on their home court on Sunday.
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