MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – Lost amidst the joy from Tuesday night’s Game 1 victory by the Miami Heat was the health of Dallas Mavericks superstar Dirk Nowitzski.
The 7-foot power forward tore a tendon in his left index finger as he trying to steal the ball from Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh. Nowitzki was called for a foul on the play, but said when he looked at his finger he couldn’t straighten it out.
It turned out that Dirk tore a tendon in his left hand.
“It was just a freaky play,” Nowitzki said. “I have to wear a splint probably for the rest of the playoffs, for a couple of weeks. But it will be alright.”
For the Mavs and their fans, Dirk has to be able to play at the highest level for the team to have any chance of upsetting the streaking Miami Heat.
Heat star LeBron James said that because the injury happened to his non-shooting hand, Dirk should be good to go in Game 2.
“He’s right-handed,” James said. “It won’t affect him. He’s still going to be great. He’s still Dirk.”
Still, with blood in the water, the Heat will be extra aggressive on Dirk to fully test his injury and see what he has left in the tank.
Miami won Game 1, 92-84, and the game was only that close due to a garbage time three-pointer by Jason Kidd to make the score more respectable for the Mavericks.
Game 2 will tip-off at the AmericanAirlines Arena on Thursday at 9 p.m. CBSMiami.com will be tweeting and Facebooking live from inside the arena during the game. Follow @CBS4miami on Twitter to see what’s going on in the arena.