Nowitzki leaves game with back pain, questionable for Friday


Dirk Nowitzki played just 10 minutes on Wednesday — scoring one point on one shot attempt — before heading to the locker room with back pain that kept him out the rest of the night. While this does not appear to be anything serious or long-term, his status for the Mavericks game Wednesday is up in the air.

Here is what Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said after the game, via the Star Telegram.

“He had a back issue and he felt something in warmups and tried to play,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said.

“He clearly wasn’t moving the way he need to be moving, so we pulled the plug. So he’ll get treatment and we’ll see where we are Friday [in New Orleans].”

Nowitzki is the hub around which the Mavericks offense flows — when he sits they are an unimpressive offensive team. Look back to what happened when he had to take four games off earlier this season.

It becomes a balancing act for the Mavericks, who need to get him back but really need him to be right come the playoffs and not have lingering back issues.