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NBA Finals, Game 4: Was Shawn Marion Injured Or Benched?

Shawn Marion sat for all but the last play of Game 4’s fourth quarter. Considering that he has been the team’s second best player these playoffs and that he’d piled up 16 points on 7-12 shooting (he and Tyson Chandler were the only Mavs who shot over 50%) in the first three quarters, that was a big surprise.

Marion appeared to be injured or at least slowed. After being kicked late in the third, he had ice wrapped around his calf while on the bench. But he was reinserted for that key sequence at the end of the game and told reporters after the game that he was fine physically.

I’m walking. I’m good. I think it was a matter of how the flow of the game was going and that’s what happens.

Marion’s ten or so minutes went to DeShawn Stevenson and J.J. Barea, who played 26 and 22 minutes. Stevenson hit three of seven three-pointers and scored 11 points. Barea struggled in a starting role but did distribute the ball.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.