“I’m fine, nothing hurts,’’ Nowitzki said. “The wind will come back, but it’s definitely better than what it was two weeks ago when we started camp. I actually wasn’t joking about the amnesty thing two weeks ago. That’s how bad I looked. It’s been some hard work the last two weeks, but I’m still obviously not 100 percent.’’
Dallas — after all its personnel changes — is going to need him at 100 percent, and fast. They open at home Christmas Day against a Heat team that would love to spoil the banner-raising party.
Report: Khris Middleton could return to Bucks before All-Star break
Sources told ESPN.com the Bucks think Middleton, who suffered a hamstring tear just days before the season began, “has a chance” to return to the lineup during a three-game homestand next month before the All-Star break.
Whether Middleton ultimately makes his season debut before or after the All-Star Game, he is expected to be kept on a minutes restriction as he eases way his back from the injury, sources said.
The Bucks have started Tony Snell, who has held his own as an outside shooter. But Middleton will upgrade Milwaukee on Snell’s biggest strength and provide massive defensive improvement. After a strong start, the Bucks have really struggled lately on that end.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has led Milwaukee to a 20-21 record, though the team is better than its won-loss mark indicates. The Bucks will be even better with Middleton, who will rival Jabari Parker as their second-best player and fit seamlessly.
Isaiah Thomas nutmegs Knicks center Marshall Plumlee (video)