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Friday, February 5, 2010
Dampier's ready to bang with Ryan Hollins

By Tim MacMahon

DALLAS -- Erick Dampier has strapped on his bulky knee brace and is ready to battle ex-teammate Ryan Hollins.

Dampier, who sat out Wednesday night againt the smallball Golden State Warriors, believes he's close to fully recovered from his left knee effusion. The soreness is gone. The issue now is the lost strength in the knee, which he hopes to regain by spending hours of the All-Star break in the Mavs' weight room.

Hollins, who spent most of last season with the Mavs, could certainly use some time in the weight room. The former UCLA high jumper is a phenomenal athlete, but he's too easily pushed around at 7-0, 230 pounds.

Hollins is the Minnesota Timberwolves' starting center at the moment. He averaged 17.5 points on 68-percent shooting in two games since moving into the starting lineup.

It's likely that Hollins will have a little extra motivation tonight. He was a restricted free agent last summer, but the Mavs weren't willing to match anything above the minimum, wishing him well when the T-Wolves offered $7 million over three seasons.

Hollins, best remembered around these parts for dunking on Tim Duncan (and getting T'd up for taunting) in a playoff game, was ejected during the Mavs' win in Minnesota earlier this season.