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Marion can guard Ginobili, but ...

4/19/2010

DALLAS -- The Mavs consider Shawn Marion one of the NBA's premier defensive stoppers, but he readily acknowledges that he has a problem guarding Manu Ginobili on the pick-and-roll.

"When he’s one-on-one, I’m going to be good," Marion said after Ginobili had 26 points and six assists in the Spurs' Game 1 loss to the Mavs. "When it’s one-on-one, I’m straight. But when he’s got a pick coming, it’s hard, because he’s really slick and slithery. He’s really good at coming off the big man’s ass."

That situation is one the Mavs spent significant time working on during Monday's practice.

They know they'll see plenty of pick-and-rolls with the ball in Ginobili's hands for the rest of the series. They can't continue to let the Spurs swingman flourish as a scorer and playmaker.

That's easier said than done because Ginobili is a crafty veteran who can finish well in the lane, knock down stepback jumpers, change directions quickly and make smart decisions on the move.

That's not just the Matrix's problem, or an issue for whichever Mav is guarding Ginobili at the moment. They'll need help, and not just from the Mavs' big man involved in the play.

"A pick-and-roll is a two-man game," coach Rick Carlisle said, "but all five defenders have got to be engaged in it."

It'll take a team to contain Ginobili. Marion can't do it by himself.