MINNEAPOLIS -- The NBA ignored an honest comment by Dirk Nowitzki and named the Dallas Mavericks' power forward to his 11th consecutive All-Star game on Thursday night.
Nowitzki has been saying for over a week that he didn't deserve to play in this year's All-Star game, which will be held Feb. 26 in Orlando, Fla. However, the Western Conference coaches beg to differ, and used their vote to select the Mavs' No. 1 go-to guy to yet another All-Star game.
"I am really excited to make the All-Star team," Nowitzki said. "It was a tough road back to full health for me, but I am honored that the coaches thought enough of me to make me an All-Star.
"It has been a privilege to represent the Mavericks organization over the last decade and I look forward to doing it again in Orlando."
Nowitzki was one of seven reserves named to the West squad. The others are forwards LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland) and Kevin Love (Minnesota), guards Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City), Steve Nash (Phoenix) and Tony Parker (San Antonio), and center Marc Gasol (Memphis).
Nowitzki is averaging 17.6 points and 6.2 rebounds while shooting 46.1 percent from the field and only 21.1 percent from 3-point territory. Those are uncharacteristically low numbers for Nowitzki, who was the Most Valuable Player in the NBA Finals last season when he led the Mavs to their first championship with a six-game victory over the Miami Heat.
Before finding out he was selected an All-Star again, Nowitzki sounded like it was a foregone conclusion that he wouldn't be in this year's mid-season classic. The 7-footer had missed four games this season with a sore right knee and conditioning issues, and just didn't believe he brought enough to the table to extend his All-Star streak.
"Really, the setup is different with the lockout year," Nowitzki said. "You really only have like 22 games, and if you judge it on those 22 games I don't think I should be in.
"I think there are a lot of other power forwards that played really good over that stretch. To me, if you put all the things together of guys that's in the first third of this shortened season, then I don't think I should be in."
For Nowitzki's sake, it's a good thing the Western Conference coaches didn't listen.
It's unknown whether point guard Jason Kidd is fit enough to play tonight against Minnesota at the Target Center.
Kidd has missed the last six games since straining his right calf Jan. 27 against the Utah Jazz.
"He keeps working and he's day-to-day," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "There's nothing definite."
Asked if Kidd's playing status for tonight could be a game-time decision, Carlisle said: "Maybe. Maybe earlier, but I'm not going to announce it until the time, whatever the case is."
The Mavs are 3-3 in the past six games without Kidd, but were 4-0 without him earlier this season when he was sidelined with back issues.
Owning the Mavs
The Minnesota Timberwolves appear to be a bad matchup for the Mavericks.
Minnesota scored the final 15 points of the game and beat the Mavs in Minnesota, 99-82, on Jan. 1. On Jan. 25 in Dallas, the Timberwolves thumped the Mavs again, 105-90.
The Mavericks (15-11) are hoping to gain some confidence against the Timberwolves (13-13) in case they meet in the playoffs.
"They've played well and we haven't played well enough," Rick Carlisle said. "That's the reality.
"They put you in a lot of bad situations with their quickness and ballhandling and passing ability, and they've shot 3s well against us. What we have to do a better job of is taking away the paint and then scrambling out of those situations."
Terry will play
Guard Jason Terry, who practiced Thursday after suffering hip flexor problems Wednesday at Denver, is expected to play tonight.
"I think he's going to be OK," Rick Carlisle said.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760