- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Mavs will not make the drastic move of switching defensive stopper Shawn Marion’s assignment in an attempt to slow down Russell Westbrook.
At least, not at the beginning of Game 3.
“I’ve got the same assignment,” Marion said before Thursday morning’s shootaround. “It ain’t changed.”
That means Marion will continue to defend three-time NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant, who has averaged 25.5 points but shot only 31.4 percent from the floor as the Thunder opened a 2-0 lead in the series. Delonte West has opened the first two games defending Westbrook.
Coach Rick Carlisle left open the possibility of using Marion on Westbrook (28.5 points on 52.3 percent shooting) at points in the game.
“Possibly, but look, you’re talking about taking your best defender and a guy that was a real candidate for Defensive Player of the Year off of a guy off of a guy that he’s doing a great job on to put him on another guy,” Carlisle said. “We can look at it at different times of the games, but let’s not forget how great Durant is. He’s in the MVP conversation.
“They present a lot of problems, and we’re looking at solutions.”
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