Mavs must be patient with Dirk Nowitzki's knee

December, 29, 2010
12/29/10
1:36
PM CT

No matter how painful it is, the Mavericks must be patient with Dirk Nowitzki’s recovery from a sprained knee.

It’s just not worth the risk for him to rush back.

Nowitzki, with the aid of head athletic trainer Casey Smith, has shown remarkable recuperative powers over the course of his career. He’s missed only 33 games due to injuries in 10 seasons. That includes nine ankle sprains that have caused him to miss 16 games.

The Mavs don’t believe this knee sprain to be serious. Nowitzki hasn’t been ruled out of Thursday’s game against the Spurs.

But if the Mavs’ MVP candidate is anything less than 100 percent, the Mavs need to exercise patience with him, just as they’ve done with Rodrigue Beaubois during his slow recovery from a broken foot. Considering that Nowitzki said his knee had been bothering him for a couple of weeks, it seems like a stretch to think he'll be ready for the Spurs.

It might cost the Mavs to slip down the Western Conference’s playoff seeding. That’s fine. It’s much more important for Nowitzki to avoid a nagging knee injury than it is for the Mavs to have homecourt advantage in the postseason.

Actually, given the Mavs’ success away from the AAC, homecourt advantage might not apply for this team anyway.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Monta Ellis
PTS AST STL MIN
20.3 4.4 1.8 33.8
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsT. Chandler 12.0
AssistsR. Rondo 7.2
StealsM. Ellis 1.8
BlocksT. Chandler 1.4