With Ray Allen exercising his contract option to return to the Celtics for a 16th NBA season, 30-somethings continue to make an impact in a young men's league.

Shawn Marion is another. "The Matrix'' was a four-time All-Star who apparently had lost a few steps before arriving in Dallas in July 2009 in a trade with Toronto. The 33-year-old Marion averaged 12.5 points this season, mostly as a reserve, but has emerged recently as the Mavericks' second offensive option behind Dirk Nowitzki.

In the five NBA Finals games, Marion is averaging 14 points on 49 percent shooting, and also has had a positive effect with his defense on LeBron James. Marion hardly was considered a series-changing player when the Finals began, but he has resurrected his reputation with his step back in time.

Marion was a product of those score-at-all-costs offenses in Phoenix, but he didn't make the same splash with stops in Miami and Toronto. However, improved emphasis on conditioning, a new regimen that ices his entire body, and getting more rest has extended his career.

"You've definitely got to take care of yourself,'' he said before last night's game. "It's so many different things you can do, but I am one of the fortunate guys because I haven't had any bad injuries. If you can stay away from having injuries, you can have a longer career. It's about how you are maintaining your body and definitely eating [right]. But it also depends on how much pain you can tolerate, too.''