In the Dallas Mavericks' locker room following Saturday's 110-94 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, Vince Carter looked exasperated.

A shooting guard and small forward by trade, Carter has been thrust into helping the short-handed Mavs at power forward.

Carter said he doesn't mind the extra workload.

"It takes a toll on your body, but I told them I'm willing to do whatever," Carter said. "We're low on bodies down there and I'm not afraid to fight with the bigs down there and compete.

"I might not get the rebound every time, but whoever the big is in the game I might can help them. I just want to set the tone and the mentality of just fighting and competing."

With arthroscopic right knee surgery shelving Dirk Nowitzki for six weeks, and with Chris Kaman slowed first by a sprained lower back and now with a strained right calf, coach Rick Carlisle turned to Carter.

"He was playing it relatively early in training camp because Kaman missed some time and we didn't have a ton of big guys," Carlisle said. "He's doing the best job he can out there."