DALLAS _ Ever since the Dallas Mavericks lost Caron Butler on New Year’s Day to a season-ending knee injury, it seems like nearly everybody on the roster has had their turn trying to fill the team’s small forward role.
That includes second-year guard Rodrigue Beaubois. And even Sasha Pavlovic -- he had a couple of 10-day contracts with Dallas before he was released two months ago -- had his chance to impress the Mavs.
For now, Peja Stojakovic is back as the starting small forward after missing six games with a stiff neck. Before that, Shawn Marion, DeShawn Stevenson, Corey Brewer and Brian Cardinal had their turn as the Mavs’ starter at small forward.
It’s a situation the Mavs must stabilize before they can be all they can be with the playoffs fast approaching.
“We’ve got plenty of guys,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said. “With Shawn missing a game-and-a-half and then Peja missing a few games, that makes it more challenging because you want to keep those guys involved.
“We have the man power. It’s just we want to get Shawn and Peja really tightly integrated in the last 12 games, and we hope to have that opportunity.’’
Marion is expected back as the first small forward off the bench during Thursday’s home game against Minnesota. But the unsteadiness at the starting small forward position hasn’t raised any red flags, as far as forward Dirk Nowitzki is concerned.
“We’ve done it before where we’ve filled a spot by committee,’’ Nowitzki said. “Over the last couple of years it was the (shooting guard) spot. . .and this year it’s the (small forward) spot.
“To me it doesn’t really matter who starts. We’ve just got to get the job done for that position.’’
-- Dwain Price
Follow me on Twitter