Dirk Nowitzki and coach Rick Carlisle have returned to practice
since missing the Dallas Mavericks’ last game due to illnesses.
They were in good spirits and cracking jokes upon coming back,
perhaps because Dallas now has Brandan Wright available again.
Wright provided a boost his last time out in his season debut
and should help the Mavericks on the boards Wednesday night at home
as they try to hand the short-handed Memphis Grizzlies a fifth
Dallas (14-10) won 106-93 over lowly Milwaukee at home Saturday
without Nowitzki, who was sick. Nowitzki came back to practice
“I felt a lot better during the day Saturday, but it really hit
me Friday night,” Nowitzki said. “Friday, I was struggling to keep
fluids in, so Saturday I didn’t feel that hot. But I’m glad the
boys pulled it out.”
Nowitzki then went on with a joke at the expense of the Dallas
Cowboys, who blew a 23-point halftime lead in Sunday’s 37-36 loss
to Green Bay.
“I felt a lot better already come Sunday, until I watched the
Cowboys game,” he said. “Then I got sick again.”
Carlisle was absent since he has been fighting an upper
respiratory problem. He was also back at practice, where he said he
was over the illness but joked about it by referencing the popular
television show “Homeland.”
“When you get it, you feel like Brody in Caracas without the
heroin probably,” Carlisle said.
Perhaps the Mavericks were in a light-hearted mood because of
how Wright came in and scored 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting off the
bench in his first action after missing the first 23 games with a
Wright’s presence has given Dallas another big man in its
rotation with DeJuan Blair and Samuel Dalembert, who did not see
action for the first time Saturday. Nowitzki is excited to get onto
the court with Wright.
“He’s good at the stuff that I stink at,” Nowitzki said. “He
plays above the rim.”
Wright should help against Memphis (10-14), which has
outrebounded Dallas by an average of 10.3 in the last three
meetings. The Mavs beat the Grizzlies 111-99 on Nov. 2 behind
Nowitzki’s 24 points.
“(We’ll) be sharp hopefully on Wednesday against a physical team
that always gives us trouble on the boards so we gotta be ready,”
The Grizzlies had a healthy Marc Gasol then and are now 3-8
without the injured big man following Tuesday’s 96-92 home loss to
the Los Angeles Lakers.
Gasol and Mike Conley combined for 47 points the last time these
teams met, but both could be out Wednesday. That’s because Conley
missed his first game Tuesday after bruising his left thigh in
Sunday’s 101-93 loss to Minnesota.
The last two defeats have followed a familiar pattern. The
Grizzlies fell behind by 11 points after one period against the
Timberwolves and were down by 10 after 12 minutes versus the
“We are letting teams get up by shooting the basketball and
getting loose balls,” coach Dave Joerger said. “They are getting
after us instead of us getting after them.”
Zach Randolph had 18 points and a season-high 16 rebounds
Tuesday for his third straight double-double.