The 7-20 Dallas Mavericks are in Portland for a 9 p.m. CT tip tonight but along with the significance of the game is some significance in the Thursday practice that will follow:
Dirk Nowitzki will miss his 14th straight contest as he watches Mavs-Blazers due to his right Achilles straight. but he says he plan to participate in a full practice with the team in Los Angeles on Thursday.
That doesn’t automatically mean the icon plays on Friday against the Clippers; consider this move a “ramp-up’’ toward eventually game action. ... and it beats the heck out of hearing The UberMan talk about retirement.
Dirk told reporters on Wednesday: "It hasn't gotten worse from some of the stuff we've been doing, so I'll be back out there soon."
Coach Rick Carlisle says when Dirk does return it "will be gradual,” suggesting an eventual minutes limit in the 20-25 range.
Rookie Dorian Finney-Smith will continue to start in Dirk’s spot. Center Andrew Bogut (knee) remains sidelined. JJ Barea came back from a calf injury to participate in Monday’s loss at Denver. We will monitor his availability here in the DB.com Boards GameThread.