10 Greatest NBA Finals performers in Dallas Mavericks history

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
3 of 10

8. Shawn Marion

When the Dallas Mavericks went up against a star-studded Miami Heat squad that featured LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, they were quickly written off by many pundits. Miami seemed to have too much firepower on the wing and the high post.

However, Shawn Marion's defensive presence helped neutralize the threat from the Big 3. Stats-wise, he also wasn't a slouch, posting 13.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game — both third on the team in the series.

After arriving in Dallas via a sign-and-trade deal in the 2009 offseason, the four-time All-Star was evidently already a shell of his former self. Still, his on-court instincts manifested, particularly when it mattered the most for the team.

Interestingly, Marion wasn't even a starter for most of the 2010-11 campaign, taking a reserve role in favor of Caron Butler. However, a season-ending injury to Butler elevated "The Matrix" back to his usual spot, and he helped provide the Mavs with defense, rebounding, and leadership.

A year ago, he showed why Dallas badly needed him to clinch the 2011 championship. His mindset of the Mavs featuring five current or past All-Stars at the time trumped the three All-Stars Miami had.

Marion was right when he said that Dirk Nowitzki raised the bar after leading Dallas to the 2011 Finals. However, his role in the championship round and helping prepare Nowitzki for smaller opponents cannot be understated.