Mavericks tweak starters: Barea in, Stevenson out
Down 2-1 in the NBA finals, the Mavericks tried to jump-start
their offense by putting J.J. Barea into the starting lineup in
place of defensive-oriented DeShawn Stevenson for Game 4 against
the Miami Heat on Tuesday night.
Backup center Brendan Haywood also returned to the active list
after missing Game 3 with a hip injury.
Stevenson’s primary job has been to cover Dwyane Wade. Yet he’s
averaged 6.0 points per game, more than Barea.
Barea is averaging only 4.3 points per game against Miami, down
from 8.9 over the previous three rounds of the playoffs. He’s
missed 18 of 23 shots.
Still, his speedy style could help Dallas up the tempo of the
series, one of the changes the Mavs say they need to turn around
”I’ve just got to do what I’ve got to do,” Stevenson said.
”Made the lineup change and just go out and play. … We’ve got to
worry about stopping D-Wade. The way he got going last game, we’ve
got to give him different looks, have got to try to get the ball
out of his hands.”
Perhaps another reason for the change is having Stevenson coming
off the bench to replace Shawn Marion.
Marion played a team-high 43 minutes in Game 3. If Stevenson can
help cut that down, Marion would be fresher at the end of the
”It’s very difficult to ask him to be in a stance and guard the
best players on the planet for 43 minutes and hey, go score and do
what you do at the other end,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said.
”That’s something I should not have allowed to happen in Game
Haywood strained his right hip during Game 2.
Through rest and treatment, the swelling had gone down enough
that Haywood said Tuesday morning he might return. He was expected
to test his injury by running full speed and changing directions,
but Carlisle said he wasn’t sure whether that had been done.
Carlisle said he expected adrenaline to help push Haywood
through whatever pain he was still feeling.
”The plan is that we’ll give it a shot, and hopefully it will
go well,” Carlisle said. ”But we’ll see. He’s worked hard to
reduce the swelling. He’s had multiple MRIs, all that stuff. So
we’ve worked up to this. We obviously need him.”
Although Haywood had only five points and seven rebounds over 22
minutes the first two games, he’s a reliable backup to starter
Tyson Chandler. Chandler admitted he played tentatively in Game 3
because he feared getting into foul trouble that would have forced
Dallas to rely on third-stringer Ian Mahinmi.
Mahinmi scored two points and drew five fouls in 8 minutes.
Chandler said he expected Mahinmi to play better if needed in Game
4 simply because he’d gotten over any first-game jitters.