SAN ANTONIO — Shawn Marion has gone from guarding point guard Tony Parker to center/forward Tim Duncan — and back again — many times.
That doesn’t mean it gets easier with time.
But Marion said Tuesday he feels he can make things difficult on Parker, who diced the Mavericks’ defense in Game 1 for 21 points, along with six assists.
The problem with that is there aren’t two Marions. His defense on Parker means he can’t tend to Kawhi Leonard or Duncan. At least not on the same possession.
“I do a good job of containing him,” Marion said of Parker. “But when he’s coming off those screens and stuff, it’s a matter of how we help and recover and get straight up back on him.
“You want him, whenever you can, to stay out of the paint. If you make him take contested jump shots and he’s making them, more power to him.
“The thing is, he gets really tired when he’s trying to break down people. If we can wear him out doing that, that’s fine. Ain’t nobody else getting going. And he can get burned out doing that, we can take advantage of that on the other end of the floor.”
That’s a decent plan in theory. But executing it remains the dicey part.
One X-factor is Devin Harris, who believes he has the speed and know-how to make things tougher on Parker.
“It’s fun,” he said of the matchup. “Obviously, I was here before [earlier in his career], and he was happy to see me go. I’m looking forward to matching up with him again, and I’m happy to be back here. Obviously, he got the better of us in Game 1. We’ve got to try to return the favor.”
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle has seen Parker, Duncan and Manu Ginobili all hurt the Mavericks at times during the regular season. And they combined for 65 points in Game 1. That’s a recipe for disaster if you’re the Mavericks.
On defending Parker better, Carlisle said: “We’re going to have to. He ended up having a really big night. And he’s a great player. Great players put you in those predicaments. We’ve got to do a better job on Duncan. Ginobili hit us with a couple of untimely 3s from our perspective.
“And those are three great players. Those guys are going to be aggressive. And they’re going to cause problems. We’ve got to do a better job of solving those problems.”
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