Dirk Nowitzki, entering his 19th season in the league, has sat out the first three preseason games to start the season. Here is the plan for the rest of the preseason.
As Nowitzki enters his 19th season in the league, playing in the preseason has slowly became hit-or-miss for the big fella as he determines what is best for his body going into a new season.
For the first two games of the preseason, Dallas saw the majority of the older veterans sit out as Nowitzki was joined by Harris, Mejri, Bogut, and Williams on the bench. Now, after Bogut and Williams made their debuts in Wisconsin, Nowitzki is set to make his preseason debut at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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When asked if we should expect Dirk on Tuesday night, Head Coach Rick Carlisle said we should as the Big German should complete the starting unit for the first time this preseason.
As far as how many more games we should expect this preseason, Carlisle had this to say in response.
“There is four games left. He’s going to play at least three of the four, he may play all of them. He’s been working extremely hard, non-game situations in practices. The other day in Wisconsin, after shootaround, he was in there for an hour shooting. You know he’s been working extremely hard at it. Games are a different story…tomorrow is a good starting point.”
The plan is like always, to ease Nowitzki into game action. Although he is making his debut on Tuesday night against OKC, I would expect him to play very limited minutes as he gets back to game speed.
The Mavs turn around on the 14th to play Friday night in Phoenix, the following Wednesday (19th) at home against Houston, and the Friday after that (21st) against the Nuggets. I would be surprised if Nowitzki plays both of the Houston and Denver games considering the quick turnaround.
Things look to be on par for Nowitzki as he even mentioned last week after practice that he was shooting for this week as his debut and to “get a few games in” for the preseason.
Dirk is Dirk and all the Mavericks care about is having their Hall of Famer fresh and ready for the regular season. Expect light minutes over the next couple of weeks as the regular season is just around the corner.