Dallas Mavericks

Chandler, Nowitzki maintain friendship on opposite sides

Tyson Chandler and Dirk Nowitzki have a strong friendship.
Tyson Chandler and Dirk Nowitzki have a strong friendship. TNS

No one has to tell Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki what type of game to expect from Phoenix Suns center Tyson Chandler when the two teams meet tonight at 9 at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Chandler has had two one-year stints with the Mavericks, and after each one ended, he thought he was going to re-sign with Dallas as a free agent. However, on each occasion, Chandler ended up elsewhere – and he wasn’t excited about it.

Such was the case this past summer when the Mavericks started chasing Los Angeles Clippers free agent center DeAndre Jordan, while Chandler was also a free agent. When the dust settled, Jordan re-signed with the Clippers and Chandler moved on and signed a four-year, $52 million contract with the Suns.

And now with the Mavericks set to face the Suns in the regular season order tonight, Nowitzki knows there’s one thing on Chandler’s agenda.

“He’s going to be juiced,’’ Nowitzki said. “It’s the home opener, it’s against us.

“He’s going to try to dominate the paint, rebounding, affecting shots on the defensive end, keep possessions alive. He’s one of the best at it, so we’ve got to do a job on him.’’

Whatever bad blood Chandler had with the Mavericks for their failure to re-sign him this summer he said has been tabled.

“I feel like there’s no need to continue to talk of the past, especially today being it’s the start of a new season and I’m with a new franchise,’’ Chandler said. “I think we need to concentrate on the positives that we have going forward.’’

Nowitzki had hoped Chandler and the Mavericks could have worked things out. It would have made things much easier heading into this season.

But that’s not the case.

“We both moved on, as we did after the championship,’’ Nowitzki said. “Sometimes stuff happens in this league you can’t really control.

“We see some players that you wish you still had. But it’s not the case and you move on and you compete against them.’’