DALLAS – The Dallas Mavericks still don’t know if forward Dirk Nowitzki will be ready to play in Monday’s game in New York against the Knicks.
Nowitzki hasn’t played since sitting out the second half of the 105-95 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Nov. 4 with a sore right Achilles. The 19-year veteran subsequently missed the following three games, and also sat out Friday’s practice.
"Dirk’s doing better,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said. "He’s not here today.
"He has a personal thing that he’s tending to, but he is doing better. Tomorrow we’ll pick up his activity a little bit more and see where he is.’’
Someone asked Carlisle if there’s a scenario where he would use Nowitzki as a sixth man whenever he’s able to play again.
"We’ve got to determine that he’s ready to play before talking about anything like that, but I think that’s unlikely,’’ Carlisle said. "I think he’s a starter.
"The guy’s been starting for 19 years and we’re going to bring him off the bench?’’
Point guard Deron Williams also missed Friday’s practice as he continues to try and overcome the strained left calf which forced him to sit out the last three games. Williams hasn’t played since scoring 12 points on 3-of-14 shooting and adding six assists and five rebounds in 37 minutes against the Blazers.
"He had a bit of a setback working out yesterday,’’ Carlisle said. "I would say he’s mostly likely out for New York, and Boston is probably a long shot.’’