The Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki scored 27 points in Tuesday night’s game one loss to the Heat in Miami, but was unable to provide the late-game heroics seen in earlier series as the Heat defense gave him a dizzying array of different looks and held him in check throughout the stretch.
To make matters worse, Nowitzki will be forced to play the rest of the series with a torn tendon in his left middle finger.
Nowitzki shoots right handed, so the reaction to the injury has been varied, with some believing that the injury will severely limit the big German, and others of the opinion that, since the injury is in his non-shooting hand, the effect will be minimal. This latter camp includes Miami’s LeBron James.
"Dirk is right-handed," James said, per the USA Today. "He shoots the ball extremely well. That left hand is just a guide hand for all shooters. We all know that. It won't affect him. He's still going to be great. He's still Dirk."
Nowitzki himself downplayed the injury after the opening game loss Tuesday night.
"I kind of looked down, and I couldn't straighten my finger out anymore," said Nowitzki who had an X-ray on the finger. "I guess it will be all right. I have to wear a splint probably for the rest of the playoffs. ... I'll be all right for Thursday."