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

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle

Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver

Report: 49ers could talk trade for QB at the NFL Scouting Combine

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

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

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

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