Time to give starting lineup a youth infusion?

March, 17, 2010
3/17/10
6:31
PM CT
DALLAS -- The Mavs are searching for solutions for their problem with slow starts.

A reader made an interesting suggestion during yesterday’s ESPNDallas.com chat: Let Rodrigue Beaubois give the all-over-30 starting lineup a boost of energy, with Caron Butler sliding to his natural position of small forward and Shawn Marion coming off the bench.

I deemed that scenario unlikely, simply because asking Marion to make a late-season transition to the bench seems like a bit much, especially considering the sacrifices Matrix has already made. That’s potentially a pretty big blow to a proud veteran’s ego.

I didn’t pose the exact suggestion to coach Rick Carlisle, because he considers specifics about his rotation/lineup to be confidential information. So I kept the question general: Is tweaking the starting lineup something he’s considered as a cure for the slow starts?

“Anything’s in play,” Carlisle said. “We’re in this for one reason and one reason only. That’s to be a title winner. If I felt that simply changing the lineup would drastically change our entire situation for the better, I wouldn’t hesitate to do it, and I don’t think anybody would hesitate to go along with it from the players’ perspective.

“But I’d rather get our best players starting the game and playing their best and playing well together.”

In other words, don’t hold your breath for Beaubois to be a starter for the rest of this season, barring injury.

Next year? That wouldn’t be stunning, and it’d give the Mavs a summer to massage Marion’s ego and allow him to adjust to a reserve role.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Marion 6.5
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9