On New Year’s Day, star power forward Dirk Nowitzki was limping off the court with what looked like a severe ankle injury during the Mavericks’ 87-78 win over the Washington Wizards, but on Friday, the team leader and former MVP could be back on the floor for Dallas.
Per Rick Carlisle, Dirk Nowitzki (left ankle) is a game-time decision vs. the Clippers. Dirk rode an exercise bike during shootaround.
— Earl K. Sneed (@EarlKSneed) January 3, 2014
Nowitzki is listed as a game-time decision for Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers, and to be honest, that’s pretty impressive in its own right. The 35-year-old Nowitzki has played in 31 of a possible 32 games for the Mavs this season, and while he isn’t quite the MVP-caliber player that he used to be, he is still, unquestionably, their best player and focal point.
On the year, Dirk is averaging 20.9 points per game with some incredible shooting ratios (48.5% FG, 39.1% 3-PT, 92.0% FT), and he’s doing that while playing less than 33 minutes per night. As a result of his playing time decrease (and a small drop in explosion), his rebounding is at a career-low level of 5.9 per game (7.2 per 40 minutes), but if there’s a “go-to” guy, he’s certainly it.
It’s already a very tough spot for the 19-13 Mavs as they host a big-time contender in the Clippers, but if Dirk can go, they have a chance to win, and the fact that we can still say that is another reminder of his continued greatness.