Dirk Nowitzki says he "will be OK" for Game 2 of the NBA Finals Thursday night despite the torn tendon in the middle finger of his left hand. The Dallas Mavericks need their superstar player to be right as they trail the Miami Heat 1-0 in the best-of-seven series, and it does not appear they can match the Heat without Nowitzki can continue his magical playoff run.
"I don't think it's going to be necessarily bothering me on the shot. Obviously on the shot you only hold the ball with the left hand. 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 okay," Nowitzki said. "I have this splint on for now. I think we're going to play around with some other stuff. Try tape, or try a splint from the back so I can feel the ball and not lose grip of the ball.
"We're going to play around with it today in practice, maybe tomorrow some in shoot-around. By then I'll have an idea how it feels and how it is to play with the thing. I'll be okay. I'm really not worried. It's not that sore, so it should be okay."
Nowitzki scored a game-hgih 27 points in Game 1, but the Miami troika of LeBron James (24 points, nine rebounds), Dwayne Wade (22 points, 10 rebounds) and Chris Bosh (19 points, nine rebounds) was too much for Dallas.
The biggest difference in Tuesday's Game 1 was offensive rebounding, where Miami held a 16-6 advantage.
"We have to be more opportunistic. Our shot-making has to be better and our rebounding has to be better," said Dallas coach Rick Carlisle. "We're minus 10 on offensive boards. That's 10 more opportunities that they have the ball and we don't."
The series schedule and TV information are below.
- Game 1: Miami 92, Dallas 84.
- Game 2: Thu., June 2 in Miami, 9 p.m. (ABC)
- Game 3: Sun., June 5 in Dallas, 8 p.m. (ABC)
- Game 4: Tue., June 7 in Dallas, 9 p.m. (ABC)
- Game 5: Thu., June 9 in Dallas, 9 p.m. (ABC)
- Game 6: Sun., June 12 in Miami, 8 p.m. (ABC)
- Game 7: Tue., June 14 in Miami, 9 p.m. (ABC)