Dirk Nowitzki’s status for Monday’s game in New York against the New York Knicks remains unclear.
Nowitzki hasn’t played since the first half of the Mavericks’ home loss Nov. 4 to the Portland Trail Blazers. The 19-year veteran forward has been sidelined with soreness in his right Achilles.
Nowitzki, 38, has missed the past three games and also missed Friday’s practice due to personal reasons. Nowitzki’s wife, Jessica, is due to give birth to the couple’s third child.
“Dirk’s doing better,” said coach Rick Carlisle, whose team is 2-6. “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.”
Could Nowitzki be used 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?”
Starting point guard Deron Williams also missed Friday’s practice as he continues to try to overcome the strained left calf that forced him to sit out the past three games. Williams hasn’t played since the Blazers game. In that game, he scored 12 points on 3-of-14 shooting and adding six assists and five rebounds in 37 minutes.
“He had a bit of a setback working out yesterday, so he’s going to be a little bit longer than hoped,” Carlisle said. “There’s no timetable. I would say he’s mostly likely out for New York, and [Wednesday’s game in] Boston is probably a long shot.”
With the young lineup Carlisle started Wednesday at Golden State, the Mavericks had little chance to defeat the potent Warriors, an NBA finalist last season and NBA champion in 2015.
But what the young Mavericks did receive during the 116-95 loss to the Warriors was some much-needed experience.
Outside of 24-year-old Harrison Barnes, who is in his fifth season and won an NBA title with the Warriors in 2015, the other four starters have very little NBA experience. Golden State led 67-36 at the half.
Besides Barnes, the Mavericks started Seth Curry (26), Dwight Powell (25), undrafted rookie Dorian Finney-Smith (23) and Justin Anderson (22) against a Warriors team that featured four All-Stars. Of the nine Mavericks who played at Golden State, 30-year-old, second-year center Salah Mejri was the only player older than 26.
The players who came off the bench included Quincy Acy (26), and rookies A.J. Hammons (24) and Nicolas Brussino (23).
“Bad first half, better second half, and a good experience,” Carlisle said. “You can’t duplicate that kind of opportunity for guys like Brussino, Finley-Smith and Hammons and those guys.
“They’ve been watching these guys on TV for the last two, three years in the Finals. It’s a very helpful learning situation but painful, because it’s difficult.”
Nowitzki (Achilles), Williams (calf) and Devin Harris (foot) were injured, and Andrew Bogut, Wesley Matthews and J.J. Barea rested on the second night of a back-to-back. The Mavericks had defeated the Lakers 109-97 in Los Angeles on Tuesday.