ATLANTA -- Don't try to sell forward Shawn Marion on the idea that the Dallas Mavericks can't win a game without point guard Jose Calderon.
He's not buying that. Not at all.
The Mavs led the Atlanta Hawks, 70-55, when Calderon left for good with 3:34 remaining in the third period. After that, the air flew out of the Mavs' offense as they went 5-of-25 from the field with only 17 points and nine turnovers the rest of a game the Mavs lost, 88-87, at Philips Arena.
Marion acknowledged Calderon's value to the Mavs. Yet he knows there are other players on this roster who are paid handsomely to pick up the slack left by Calderon.
"(Calderon's departure was) an impact, but that's why we're called professionals,' Marion said. "You've got to have guys waiting to come in and step up and play minutes well and come in when we need them.
"This is the NBA, it's a sport, guys are going to go down with injuries every day. So the next person's got to be in line and ready to come in and step uo and play. And if you're not ready, then we've got to call on the next guy. And if he's not ready and we've got nowhere else to go, we've got to find something.''
Until Devin Harris returns from his surgically repaired toe on his left foot, the Mavs are at the mercy of rookies Shane Larkin and Gal Mekel as the backups to Calderon. And they both have been woefully inconsistent thus far this season.
On Friday, Larkin played nine minutes, scored no points, was 0-of-4 from the field with four turnovers and one assist. Meanwhile, Mekel played four minutes, missed his only field goal attempt and finished with no points and no assists.
--- Dwain Price
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