DALLAS -- Ian Mahinmi, it's your show.
The backup center who has more or less lost his job to Brandan Wright is suddenly being thrust into a starting job with few options to back him up. Brendan Haywood is out tonight with a sprained left ankle he sustained Monday at Oklahoma City. He will travel with the team Wednesday for their lone back-to-back-to-back of the season.
Also out tonight is Wright, whose concussion symptoms have not completely subsided. Wright will not make the three-game swing out west to Phoenix, Sacramento and Golden State.
Without the two centers that are logging the most minutes, Mahinmi becomes the center of attention. He took over Monday night at Oklahoma City after Haywood left the game just 31 seconds in. Mahinmi had a strong performance with 13 points and five rebounds before fouling out on a controversial call with 46 seconds to play.
"He was terrific [Monday] night. He did what he does," coach Rick Carlisle said. "He was terrific the first month of the season, and as Brandan Wright sort of came into the picture his minutes got cut a little bit and it got tougher for him. Right now we don't have neither Haywood nor Wright, so we're going to have to figure out who backs up Ian."
Behind Mahinmi things do get tricky. Sean Williams was recalled from the D-League on Sunday, but he logged less than four minutes at Oklahoma City, coming in only after Mahinmi picked up his fifth foul in the fourth quarter. Seven-foot forward Yi Jianlian also played a few minutes at center and could again tonight.
Before tonight's game, Tyson Chandler, the Mavs' defensive anchor and vocal leader on last season's title team, will collect his championship ring in a brief ceremony with Carlisle and owner Mark Cuban.