DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks could use a healthy Brendan Haywood to help protect the paint and bang the boards. They'll have to settle for the one who's locked into a bulky knee brace and whose lateral movement remains limited.
Haywood has played two games since missing seven with a sprained right knee. He has 10 points and seven rebounds in 42 minutes and his plus-minus rating is sagging at a minus-32.
"It serves its purpose," Haywood said as he strapped the brace on his right knee prior to pregame warmups. "It's big and clunky as hell, but it's hard to get hurt in it."
Haywood said he hopes to be rid of it by the end of the week, but that "my knee might tell me something totally different. I'm just taking it day by day by day."
Haywood might be pressed into bigger minutes tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies with a front line of 7-foot-1, 265-pound center Marc Gasol and 6-9, 260-pound power foward Zach Randolph, who has been coming off the bench. Games against teams with hulking big men have typically reduced minutes for lanky Mavs center Brandan Wright, with Ian Mahinmi serving as the backup.