Mavericks forward Nowitzki recovering from illness, should be ready by Wednesday

Posted Monday, Dec. 16, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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After missing Saturday’s 106-93 win over the Milwaukee Bucks with an illness, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki and coach Rick Carlisle were back on the practice court Monday.

Both said they’re feeling much better and plan to be at their regular job at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday when the Mavs (14-10) host the Memphis Grizzlies.

“I felt a lot better already come Sunday,” Nowitzki said. “Until I watched the Cowboys game, and then I got sick again.”

After watching the Mavericks-Bucks game Saturday, Nowitzki said, “it was difficult listening to [Mavericks analyst] Bob Ortegel on TV. It was like having a root canal.”

Carlisle expects Nowitzki to bounce back with little to no problems.

“He’s not 100 percent, but he did just about everything [in Monday’s practice],” Carlisle said. “So the hope is that he’ll get through this in the next day or so.”

Nowitzki said the three off days should work to his advantage.

“I think the good thing is we don’t play until Wednesday, so I was a little sluggish obviously [Monday] because I couldn’t hold any fluids in or eat anything really for two days,” Nowitzki said. “So my legs felt a little heavy at practice.

“But it was good to get a sweat in after a couple of days and have another practice [Tuesday] and I’ll feel a lot better already [Tuesday], and by Wednesday hopefully be 100 percent.”

Dalembert’s slump

Although Samuel Dalembert didn’t play Saturday for the first time this season because of a coach’s decision, Carlisle hasn’t given up on his 6-foot-11 center.

Carlisle noted that Dalembert is putting in extra work to try to work out of a slump. Dalembert has made only 3 of 16 shots with 11 points and 25 rebounds in his last five games.

“He’s doing his part, he had another great practice [Monday],” Carlisle said. “He’s just got to be ready — we need him.

“He does things for our team that none of our big guys can do with his body type, experience, length and those kinds of things we definitely need.”

The triumphant return of Brandan Wright, the solid play of DeJuan Blair and the occasional jolt from Bernard James has put the sporadic play of Dalembert under the microscope and could cut into his playing time. Wright had 19 points in only 19 minutes against the Bucks in his first game of the season after recovering from a left shoulder injury.

“We go day-to-day around here,” Carlisle said. “It’s the NBA.

“It’s a hard business. It’s not supposed to be easy.”

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice

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