Report: Dirk Nowitzki expected to return to Mavericks lineup Wednesday vs. Clippers


“Hey Dirk Nowitzki, so happy you’re feeling right after being out the last 10 games, we’ve missed your shot and we’re excited to have you back. Now get out there and cover Blake Griffin.”

Dallas is off to a rough 2-11 start to the season, and there are a variety of reasons they have been the worst team in the NBA so far this season, but missing Nowitzki to a sore right Achilles has been part of that. Wednesday night the Mavericks expect to get Nowitzki back, coach Rick Carlisle said, as reported by Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

Rick Carlisle on Dirk Nowitzki: “Feeling better. I think there’s a good chance he’ll play tonight.” Nowitzki has played only three games this season, primarily due to a sore right Achilles’ tendon.

Nowitzki’s shot creation and ability to hit from the midrange under pressure is going to be a big boost to a Dallas team with the worst offense in the NBA this season scoring 95.7 points per 100 possessions. Last season he averaged 18.3 points per game and shot 36.8 percent from three. Those numbers were down to start the season, but likely a lot of that was due to the soreness limiting his mobility.

Tough spot for a return — the Clippers are playing as well as any team in the NBA right now, and Nowitzki will be forced to match up with one of two freakishly athletic big men, Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan.