Although Dallas Mavericks All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki tore a tendon in his left middle finger during game one of the NBA Finals Tuesday night as the Mavericks fell to the Miami Heat 92-84, he told reporters he will be on the court Thursday night at American Airlines Arena as the two teams meet again for game two of the match-up. Nowitzki injured the finger on his non-shooting hand after he fouled Miami forward Chris Bosh late in the contest. After the Mavericks trainer taped up his finger Nowitzki played the rest of the contest.
Wednesday “ESPN.com” reported the veteran told reporters that the finger hurts far less than he anticipated it would. Nowitzki said “I have this splint on for now. I think we’re going to play around with some other stuff. Try tape, or try a splint from the back so I can feel the ball and not lose grip of the ball. We’re going to play around with it today in practice, maybe tomorrow in shootaround. By then, I’ll have an idea how it feels and how it is to play with the thing. I’ll be OK. I’m really not worried. It’s not that sore, so it should be OK.”
Nowitzki has averaged 28.3 points per game since the beginning of the Post Season and in order for the Mavericks to have any chance of winning their first NBA Title the club needs him to remain effective during their series against Miami. Although the finger is not on his shooting hand the forward is concerned how it could affect his ability to handle the rock. He told reporters “Everybody knows, watching me for 13 years, that I like to go left and finish with my left. So I’m going to experiment around with how my ballhandling is going to be. But I’m not really that worried about it.”
Nowitzki and sixth man Jason Terry are the only two players on the Dallas roster who were with the club when they lost to Miami in 2006, the only other time that the Mavericks made the NBA Finals.