This is not about to stop him — Dirk Nowitzki is going to be out there on the court against the Miami Heat on Thursday night with a splint on the upper half of the middle finger on his left hand (non-shooting hand).
He can adjust his shot and how he uses his guide hand (you can pretty much bet he will have taken hundreds of shots between Game 1 and the start of Game 2 with the splint on). It will be an adjustment, but with all the awkward shots the guy hits, it’s pretty easy to see him knocking down jumper after jumper, splint or no.
But the rest of his game may be an issue, he admitted to the Star-Telegram (and other media at the NBA finals).
“I don’t think it’s going to be necessarily bothering me on the shot,” Nowitzki said before Wednesday’s practice. “It’s not like you do anything crazy with it.
“It’s going to be other stuff — dribbling, passing, catching, swiping down — stuff like that. I think it will be OK.”
Nowitzki was his average self in Game 1 — 27 points on 7-of-18 shooting. What Nowitzki and the Mavericks learned is that their average selves — even their average playoff selves — is not going to be enough in the finals. Dallas is going to need better, more efficient shooting and playing all around. And that starts with Nowtizki.
The Chicago Bulls are one of the teams getting a D-League affiliate franchise this season. The Windy City Bulls will play in the suburb of Hoffman Estates, and now they have a head coach: North Carolina State assistant Bobby Lutz.
Via Upside & Motor‘s Chris Reichert:
Lutz was previously linked to the Bulls’ D-League job in July but there was confusion as to whether he would actually get the job. Now, it appears he has. And he has familiarity with the coaching staff, having served as an assistant coach at Iowa State under Fred Hoiberg in 2010-11, prior to going to NC State.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.