W2W4: Mavs on high alert vs. Wizards

DALLAS -- The praise for the 9-31 Washington Wizards was in full force Tuesday morning at the Mavericks shootaround.

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle: "We’ve got to be ready, this is a dangerous team we’re playing."

Shawn Marion: "They are very athletic, very talented and they push the ball."

Hey, the Mavs have little choice but to fully respect their opponent, any opponent, coming off what was witnessed over the last two weeks.

For review purposes, the Mavs lost to New Jersey, New Orleans, Phoenix, Sacramento and finally Golden State. Those teams will be battling for top ping-pong ball.

As Carlisle likes to say these days, that's where it's at.

At 23-20, there is no margin for error. The Mavs were not competitive in their last two losses and falling at home to Washington tonight or Charlotte on Thursday could have catastrophic consequences for a team already teetering.

"We’ve got to be precise with everything we’re doing," Carlisle said. "And I expect us to be ready to play and for our energy to be good."

Records: Wizards (9-31); Mavs (23-20)

When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: American Airlines Center


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

What to watch: Energy and urgency, plain and simple. If the Mavs don't have to start this game, when will they ever have it?

Key matchup: John Wall vs. Shawn Marion

The Mavs' versatile forward seemingly will be given another tough matchup against Washington's speedy point guard. Carlisle pointed out that Wall leads the league in coast-to-coast baskets, which will require Marion to be on his toes, literally, to get back on defense.

Injuries: Wizards -- F Rashard Lewis (sore left knee) is out; F Ronny Turiaf (fractured left hand) is questionable. Mavs – G Delonte West (fractured right ring finger) is out, C/PF Brandan Wright (concussion) is probable, C Brendan Haywood (sprained left ankle) is probable.

Up next: Charlotte Bobcats at Mavs, 7:30 p.m., Thursday