Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Updated: February 16, 9:51 AM ET
Delonte West suffers gruesome injury
By Tim MacMahon
DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks' depleted guard corps took a significant hit when Delonte West suffered a gruesome injury to his right ring finger.
The Mavericks were already without sixth man Jason Terry (mild quadriceps strain) and combo guard Rodrigue Beaubois, whose father died unexpectedly Wednesday afternoon, when West fractured and dislocated the ring finger on his non-shooting hand during the second quarter of Wednesday night's 102-84 win over the Denver Nuggets.
West will be "out for a while," coach Rick Carlisle said. West sat on the court for several seconds, covering the finger while it gushed blood, after he tried to strip the ball. The bone was sticking out of the finger and bent at an ugly angle.
"It was disgusting," said Mavs guard Vince Carter, who reacted with a look of horror when he saw West's finger seconds after the injury.
West has been a key role player for the 19-11 Mavericks this season. He has averaged 8.5 points, 3.5 assists and 1.6 steals in 23.1 minutes per game while playing significant minutes at both guard spots. West has filled voids left by two departed rotation players from last season's NBA championship team, replacing J.J. Barea as Jason Kidd's primary backup at point guard and providing the defensive tenaciousness and overall toughness that DeShawn Stevenson did last season.
"We're going to miss him, but injuries are a part of the game," Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki said. "We've got to fight through it."
Carlisle said the quad strain has been bothering Terry, the Mavs' second-leading scorer, but the team doesn't believe the injury is serious. Terry will miss Friday's road game against the Philadelphia 76ers due to personal reasons, Carlisle said.
Beaubois will be away from the team for an undetermined amount of time after his father's sudden passing.
That leaves rarely-used second-year guard Dominique Jones, who had four points and six assists in a season-high 31 minutes against the Nuggets, as the only healthy, available reserve guard on the roster.
"We're going to need him," Carlisle said. "He's worked hard and this gets his feet wet for Friday."
The Mavericks, who have a full roster of 15 players, don't intend to seek veteran help at the position. They would have to release a player if they sign a free agent guard.
"We'll just have to make it work," Carlisle said. "With Kidd, we're going to have to keep his minutes reasonable. Dominique Jones is going to have to play some. Vince is going to have to get more minutes at the 2 position. We had Odom handling the ball a lot tonight. Look, we may have to be creative with our rotation."
The Mavs have had their share of injuries this season. With Terry sitting, small forward Shawn Marion is the only player to have played in every game. Terry had his streak of playing in 126 consecutive games snapped.
Tim MacMahon covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com.