Nowitzki exited the AAC floor right as media members were allowed in -- a convenient way for The UberMan to say "hi'' to reporters while passing through the crowded tunnel without actually having to exchange information with them.
That left Carlisle to address the media at large, and he did so, issuing an official ruling of "out'' for tonight's 8:30 tip between the top two teams in the West.
Here's Rick's mini-presser:
But Mavs GM Donnie Nelson, speaking exclusively to DB.com, said that Nowitzki "did some things on the sideline ... if he was really ready to go, he would've participated in the end of shootaround (instead of leaving early). Still, you know Dirk. I'd say it's a longshot. But I bet by tonight he's going to try to go.''
Nowitzki did appear to be walking without great discomfort. And for what it's worth, the Spurs said they are preparing as if Dirk will play.
Again, though, it's a longshot. DB.com also visited with Shawn Marion, who said he's prepared to "start at the 4 ... or the 3, 2 or 1!''
So we prepare ... In part by asking and answering the question, Are the Mavs a ‘bad basketball team' without Dirk?
Nowitzki's most revealing comments came late Tuesday night.
"Ohh … Thursday might be pushing it,'' he told Mavs staffer Cash Sirios on Mavs Facebook late Tuesday night. "I don't know about Thursday. We'll see. I've been a quick healer all my life … but we'll see.''
Nowitzki's knee injury has been diagnosed as a sprain and he is being listed as "day-to-day'' from there.
The MVP candidate departed Monday's game in OKC in the first half and the 24-5 Mavericks nevertheless manhandled the Thunder, 103-93.
But on Tuesday, the Dirk-less Mavs looked lost in a home loss to the lowly Raptors. (see the 12 Excuses in Donuts.)
As much as we enjoyed this batch of Dirk's FS Southwest TV tryouts from Tuesday, we look forward to him being back where he belongs.