After being blown out of the building in game one of their first-round playoff series with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Dallas Mavericks battled to even the series in their second encounter at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, but it came at a price.
Head coach Rick Carlisle confirmed on Tuesday that star player Dirk Nowitzki underwent an MRI scan following the game which revealed a bone bruise in his right knee.
The German suffered the injury when he fell early in the game and is now listed as day-to-day.
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"This thing with Dirk, now, we hope this is not something that's going to cause him to miss any time," Carlisle said.
The 37-year-old dropped 17 points in the win on 7-of-19 shooting while playing 38 minutes and will be a huge loss to the Mavericks who already have a growing injury list.
Deron Williams missed eight games late in the regular season with a sports hernia and was forced out of the victory over the Thunder with the same issue. Fellow point guard J.J. Barea hasn't returned since injuring his groin in the second quarter of game one.
On top of that, forward David Lee, who would've been the likeliest player to replace Dirk if he fails to recover, missed the first two games of the series due to a partially torn plantar fascia in his right foot.
Let's not also forget that Chandler Parsons, who was averaging almost 14 points per game, was ruled out for the entire playoffs after right knee surgery.
The injuries have somewhat dampened the mood in Dallas after a terrific road win against one of the best teams in the Western Conference which shifted home court advantage in their favour.
Whatever the outcome of the series, Carlisle has done a great job and has slightly overachieved with the health issues that have disrupted the team throughout the year, and continue to do so.
The Mavericks head coach knows the lack of bodies will result in a change of style in order to compete with the athletic Thunder and win another three games.
"We know from a manpower standpoint we're at a pretty big disadvantage, just because of our injuries and we know we're not going to outrun or outjump or out-skill these guys," Carlisle said.
"We've got to play a working man's, grinding, highly intelligent game to hang with them."
Carlisle dubbed his team the "Masking Tape Mavs" after seeing so many players go down late in the campaign.
Williams is optimistic he can return on Thursday after a few extra days to recover, but it is less likely that the Mavs will have Barea and Lee available.
It is the potential loss of Nowitzki, however, that would be the biggest blow to Dallas and will hand the initiative back to OKC.
The Texas-based outfit and its fans will hold their breath and hope he can take to the floor in game three to give them the best opportunity of winning.