Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 1/5/13
DALLAS The Dallas Mavericks lead the NBA in different starting lineups with 15. But Saturday night at the AAC comes the most newsworthy, intriguing and important change of all: Dirk Nowitzki will make his season-debut as a first-teamer. 'We just feel it's time for him to do that,' said Dallas coach Rick Carlisle as the club prepared for its visit from the Hornets. Dirk Nowitzki will get his first start of the season Saturday night when the Mavericks play host to the Hornets at the AAC. "We're going to start Dirk tonight,'' Carlisle said, an announcement that marks a milestone in The UberMan's recovery from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Oct. 19. It's been a slow climb; while returning to action during a difficult stretch in the Mavs' schedule, Dirk has played six games. Dallas is 1-5 in those games, with Nowitzki averaging 10 points per in 22 minutes of play. On Wednesday, Dirk played in the second night of a back-to-back in Miami and the One-Legged Euro LeanBack was on full display. The 11-time All-Star played 29 minutes and scored 19 points in helping Dallas to take Miami to OT before losing. "I finished the other game (against Miami), felt decent for the 30 minutes I was out there,'' Dirk said on Friday. "That's really the major thing. Whether I'm starting or not really doesn't matter.'' Ah, but it does. It matters to the audience and it figures to matter to the emotion of a team that has struggled to a 13-20 record during which Dirk has either been absent or Dirk hasn't been Dirk. The work of trainer Casey Smith and staff, plus the supervision of flannel-shirted mentor Holger Geschwindner have been key in the comeback. Starting a game is key, too. "It's just part of the process of re-integration,'' Carlisle said. "We just feel like we're at the point where it's time to do that, and he feels the same way.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Indians reveal Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field

Report: Jerry West considered rejoining the Lakers before they hired Magic Johnson

The NHL is thinking about hosting an outdoor game in Nashville

Michael Vick in talks to retire with Falcons

Hall of Fame pitcher and former U.S. Senator Jim Bunning passes away at 85

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Roger Goodell to speak at Rams event, tickets start at $550

Ohio State hails itself as the ‘fastest team in college football’

Get a look at Shia LeBeouf as John McEnroe in Borg/McEnroe movie trailer

Draymond Green is the most efficient defender in the NBA

It’s not even June, but the San Francisco Giants are probably screwed

Odell Beckham Jr. appears to take shot at Ben McAdoo

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker