Delonte West set to return against Heat

March, 29, 2012
3/29/12
1:27
PM CT
MIAMI -- Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said he's going to try to work Delonte West into the rotation Thursday night against the Heat for the first time since the backup point guard broke a finger on his non-shooting hand Feb. 15 against Denver.

During the Mavs' shootaround, West had the two middle fingers on his right hand taped tightly and covered with a thick wad of gauze to protect them. Still, he knows it's going to hurt every time it gets hit.

"It's a mental thing," he said. "I just have to fight through it. I use my hands a lot to knock the ball loose and trying to get steals. It's just something I'm going to have to deal with."

Carlisle is happy to have West back. After all, he was averaging 8.3 points, 3.5 assist and playing terrific defense in 22 minutes a game before the injury.

West also gives the Mavs a toughness they lack when he's not on the court. Think DeShawn Stevenson.

The challenge for Carlisle is to get West minutes without it having an adverse affect on Rodrigue Beaubois, who has thrived in West's absence.

"We're going to get him back into it the right way, so I'm not sure how much he'll play, but we're going to try to get him into the game," Carlisle said of West. "There's going to be some apprehension and he's going to have some stingers because the doctors says the hand is going to be swollen some for another four-five months.

"Roddy has done some good things with his opportunity and solidified his role with our team."
Jean-Jacques Taylor joined ESPNDallas.com in August 2011. A native of Dallas, Taylor spent the past 20 years writing for The Dallas Morning News, where he covered high schools sports, the Texas Rangers and spent 11 seasons covering the Dallas Cowboys before becoming a general columnist in 2006.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Dalembert 6.8
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.2