Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle steadfastly believes Dirk Nowitzki will be one of the seven Western Conference reserves chosen to participate in next month’s NBA All-Star game.
“He’ll make it. I just have a feeling that he will,” Carlisle said Sunday night. “But if he doesn’t, it’s great because he’ll have rest. But I do think, you look at his stats, the load he’s carrying, and the production in the minutes. If he was playing the minutes that most of those guys are playing, he’d be a 25-point scorer instead of a 20-point scorer, so we’ll see.”
Nowitzki averages 21 points and 5.9 rebounds in 32.4 minutes per game and is shooting 47.5 percent from the field.
Carlisle noted that since Nowitzki moved past Jerry West, Reggie Miller, Kevin Garnett and Alex English into 13th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list this season, it could be a factor in securing Nowitzki’s 12th All-Star nod and first since 2012.
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“They may be factors,” Carlisle said. “We’ll see what happens. Those are peripheral things. I certainly feel he’s deserving. I think [Monta] Ellis is deserving of consideration, too.”
The All-Star reserves will be announced Thursday night on TNT. The game is Feb. 16 in New Orleans, and guard Devin Harris has no doubt Nowitzki will be there.
“I think he should make it every year,” Harris said. “Knowing him, he probably wants the rest. So if he wants the rest, I want him to rest because we need him to be healthy going forward.”
Ledo gets time at point guard
Carlisle was delighted to hear that rookie shooting guard Ricky Ledo played some point guard Saturday night for the Texas Legends.
“We want to get him experience doing as many different things as he can,” Carlisle said. “His situation has been interesting because he’s enjoying playing. He comes up here and spends time, and if he gets a chance to play, he’s juiced about it. But he knows he needs to play right now.”
A second-round pick out of Providence, Ledo is in his third stint with the Legends. The Mavs would rather have Ledo, who didn’t play any college ball because the NCAA ruled him academically ineligible, play for the Legends than rot away on their bench.
In Saturday’s 96-85 loss to the Santa Cruz Warriors, Ledo played 16 minutes and finished 2 of 8 from the field with six points, three rebounds and no assists.
Calderon wanted to re-sign with Pistons
When he approached free agency last summer, Jose Calderon had high hopes of re-signing with the Detroit Pistons.
Calderon spent his first 6 1/2 seasons with Toronto before the Raptors traded him to the Pistons on Jan. 30, 2013. So to keep from playing with three franchises in less than a year, Calderon wanted to remain in Detroit.
But when the Pistons dragged their feet during free agency, Calderon wound up signing a four-year, $28 million contract with the Mavs.
“They were in contact with me, but I think they weren’t waiting for just me,” Calderon said of the Pistons. “So I was just waiting and waiting, and after Dallas came with an offer, … I couldn’t say no to that.”