Dirk Nowitzki “Unlikely” To Come Off Bench For Dallas Mavericks
As Dirk Nowitzki continues to recover from his sore Achilles, the possibility of him being eased into action off the bench is something that is unlikely to happen.
After Dirk Nowitzki didn’t come back out for the second half of the Portland game at home, Rick Carlisle announced after the game that Nowitzki would be out for at least a week due to soreness in his Achilles.
Now the week mark is here and Nowitzki is starting to increase his activity on the court.
Carlisle says Dirk Nowitzki is doing better and will pick up his activity more tomorrow. Then will see where he is.
— Isaac Harris (@IsaacHarrisNBA) November 11, 2016
So when Nowitzki is back to game ready, should Dallas experiment bringing him off the bench?
Although this sounds ridiculous to a lot of Mavs faithfuls, the idea has been quietly gaining momentum among fans as they see what Memphis is doing with Zach Randolph.
Memphis, realizing that Randolph simply can’t guard most of the starting fours in the league, decided to move him to the bench in hopes of maximizing his offensive game in the second unit and for the time being, its working.
Randolph is averaging 14 points and eight rebounds a game in just over 21 minutes. He comes off the bench and is the go-to option for the Grizzlies against other team’s second units while not having to worry about guarding these athletic fours who are starting for most teams.
I’m not saying Dallas should do this at all with Nowitzki, but I did take time to ask Rick Carlisle at practice on Friday if there was a scenario where they would ease Nowitzki back into action off the bench.
“We have to determine that he is ready to play before we start talking about anything like that,” Carlisle says. “I think that is unlikely, I think he’s a starter.”
The coaching staff clearly isn’t to that level yet with Dirk’s recovery to start talking about his role coming back, but it doesn’t look like the bench option will be an option at all.
“The guy has been starting for 19 years and we are going to bring him off the bench?” Carlisle says while staring straight into my soul.
When Dirk Nowitzki is healthy, he will be in the starting unit and Carlisle made that pretty clear on Friday.
So for any of you fans out there pushing for a Dirk-sixth man role, don’t hold your breath.