"Not having him around has a big effect on everybody,'' said Tyson Chandler of the MVP candidate Nowitzki, who sprained his right knee in a game on Nov. 27 against this same Thunder team.
With Dirk, of course, you never say "never'' … but it appears he will set a personal record for consecutive missed games due to injury. Nowitzki missed five straight games in the middle of the 2002-03 season.
The Mavs are 2-3 without The UberMan in this stretch … and if fans around the world have their say, he'd apparently miss the All-Star Game, too – but due to their voting, not due to the injury.
The voting for West forwards, at present:
The complete voting results are here. Other Mavs voting results: Caron Butler is 10th among forwards, Jason Kidd is eighth among guards, Brendan Haywood slipped from third to fifth among the centers … and write-in candidate Tyson Chandler isn't in the top 10.
Stay tuned to DallasBasketball.com tonight … all night, as we'll provide wall-to-wall coverage of Thunder-at-Mavs!