W2W4: Name that Mavs lineup

DALLAS -- When the NBA announced that it will allow teams to continue to suit up 13 active players for the remainder of the season, it's likely no team rejoiced more than the Dallas Mavericks. Coach Rick Carlisle has made full use of his roster this season and now without the services of Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter, he is going deep down the bench and throwing out some interesting lineups.

Carlisle has made a return to the three-guard lineup with a couple of different combos that include Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and Delonte West, as well as Kidd, Terry and Rodrigue Beaubois.

And then there was one of the more unusual lineups we've seen that Carlisle actually twice turned to in Monday's win over the Phoenix Suns that featured Terry, Beaubois, Brian Cardinal, Brandan Wright and Ian Mahinmi.

Just as you drew it up in training camp, right coach?

"We’ve got to be able to play a lot of different ways and right now, just the fact that we’re throwing a lot of different lineups out there i is something that we’ve got to view as something that’s going to help us going forward," Carlisle said. "It’s not very rhythmic. It doesn’t lend itself to comfort and those kinds of things with having a set rotation. But, what it is doing is keeping guys playing hard because you play til your tired, give me the hand or the fist to come out and we get another fresh guy in there.

"And that’s a big part of the formula for winning this year."

Records: Timberwolves (7-10); Mavs (11-7)

When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: American Airlines Center


Radio: ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM; 1270 AM (Spanish)

What to watch: The last time the Mavs had pregame ceremony prior to a game, it took the Miami Heat about 10 minutes to get the TKO. "I think we’re in a little bit better shape than in that game," Kidd said. Well, maybe, but Dallas will be playing a third consecutive game without leading scorer Nowitzki as well as Carter. Dallas' offense hasn't exactly performed like a well-oiled machine even with Nowitzki in the lineup, so the Mavs have relied on a defense that's allowed about 84 points over the last 15 games. The Wolves are the last team to even sniff 100 against Dallas in their 99-82 win in Minnesota back on New Year's Day.

Key matchup: Kevin Love vs. Lamar Odom

Minnesota's double-double machine is coming off a season-high 39 points against Houston and he's recorded a double-double in 16 of 17 games. Odom, starting for the injured Nowitzki, seemed so sluggish to start Monday's game against Phoenix was pulled in the first half and logged less than 10 minutes. He came back strong with 11 points in the second half. Love will keep Odom busy at both ends of the floor.

Injuries: Wolves - G J.J. Barea (hamstring) is out; F Michael Beasley (right foot sprain) is out; F Wesley Johnson (illness) is questionable; C Brad Miller (knee) is doubtful; G Martell Webster (back) is doubtful; G Malcolm Lee (knee) is out. Mavs - F Dirk Nowitzki (sore right knee) is out; G Vince Carter (sprained left foot ) is out.

Up next: Utah Jazz at Mavs, 7:30 p.m., Friday