Mavs' Dirk & Rick Return To Work

Coach Rick Carlisle and star Dirk Nowitzki were back at practice Monday after missing the Saturday win over the Bucks, though something on Sunday triggered a relapse for Dirk. 'I felt a lot better come Sunday,' Nowitzki said, 'until I watched the Cowboy game. Then I got sick again.' A quick trip through Mavs practice:

The Dallas Mavericks got back to work on Monday, one day after taking some time off following Saturday's 106-93 blowout of the Bucks -- a feat accomplished without the contributions of coach Rick Carlisle and star Dirk Nowitzki.

Both were back to normal on Monday at the AAC, though Nowitzki seems to be suffering from a football hangover.

"I felt a lot better come Sunday,'' Nowitzki said, "until I watched the Cowboy game. Then I got sick again.''

Nowitzki is, of course, a big supporter of the local teams -- even after Dallas' come-from-ahead loss to the Packers. He's also a supporter of what his teammates did in dealing with another team from Wisconsin in the Bucks.

"I'm glad the boys pulled it out,'' said Dirk, who throughout the weekend "was struggling to keep stuff in and fluids in.''

The bug is gone now, allowing Nowitzki to be back in the mix, though he reported his "legs felt a little heavy in practice, but it was good to get a sweat in ... If I feel a lot better tomorrow, then by Wednesday hopefully I'll be 100 percent."

Even at less than 100 percent, Dirk will be in the starting lineup on Wednesday when the Grizzlies visit 14-10 Dallas. Carlisle will also be back on the sideline following the one-game step-in by assistant Monte Mathis.

Carlisle will have some minutes-shuffling to do with Dirk and just-activated Brandan Wright (shoulder) activated. On Saturday in his season debut, B-Wright scored 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting.

"He's good at all the stuff I stink at,'' Dirk said. "He plays above the rim. On those rolls and floaters and hook shots he's as good as anybody in the league. On defense, fast, athletic and can block shots. Good to see him back.''

"It's the kind of problem you want," Carlisle said of his bevy of healthy bigs. "We'll keep talking to all of our guys and make sure that they're always ready. There's going to be nights when certain guys will be the right guys to play and other guys may not. As long as everybody understands we're all just pulling for the same thing, which is trying to win games, we'll be alright."

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