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Nowitzki says finger injury may affect dribbling, passing

Dirk Nowitzki

Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki, of Germany, with a bandage on his left hand, handles a basketball during an basketball practice Wednesday, June 1, 2011, in Miami. Nowitzki tore a tendon in his left middle finger during Game 1 of the NBA finals. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

AP

This is not about to stop him — Dirk Nowitzki is going to be out there on the court against the Miami Heat on Thursday night with a splint on the upper half of the middle finger on his left hand (non-shooting hand).

He can adjust his shot and how he uses his guide hand (you can pretty much bet he will have taken hundreds of shots between Game 1 and the start of Game 2 with the splint on). It will be an adjustment, but with all the awkward shots the guy hits, it’s pretty easy to see him knocking down jumper after jumper, splint or no.

But the rest of his game may be an issue, he admitted to the Star-Telegram (and other media at the NBA finals).

“I don’t think it’s going to be necessarily bothering me on the shot,” Nowitzki said before Wednesday’s practice. “It’s not like you do anything crazy with it.

“It’s going to be other stuff -- dribbling, passing, catching, swiping down -- stuff like that. I think it will be OK.”

Nowitzki was his average self in Game 1 — 27 points on 7-of-18 shooting. What Nowitzki and the Mavericks learned is that their average selves — even their average playoff selves — is not going to be enough in the finals. Dallas is going to need better, more efficient shooting and playing all around. And that starts with Nowtizki.