According to multiple sources, including ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst, Mavericks center Brendan Haywood will be active for tonight’s Game 4 of the NBA Finals. Haywood has been struggling with a hip injury, and was forced to the inactive list for Game 3 because of it.
Haywood gave the Mavericks good minutes in Game 2: in his eight minutes on the court, the Mavericks outscored the Heat by five points. In Game 3, Haywood’s eight minutes went to the little-used Ian Mahinmi, and the Mavericks were outscored by six points during those eight minutes.
Haywood isn’t much of an offensive threat, and his free throw shooting has been historically terrible this season, but he gives the Mavericks someone who can give the Mavericks some toughness and shot-blocking inside when Tyson Chandler goes to the bench, which is something the Mavericks need against the Heat. If Haywood’s hip allows him to play at anything approaching 100% in Game 4, it would be very good news for the Mavericks.