Josh Cohen’s Analysis: Jameer Nelson, who injured his hip on a collision with Brendan Haywood in the final minute of Friday’s loss to the Bobcats, did not practice on Saturday and is unsure if he will be ready for Sunday’s contest against the Mavericks. Nelson has arguably played the best ball of his career this season, but has missed nine games already with a variety of ailments.
Cohen’s Analysis: It was evident Glen Davis wasn’t feeling 100 percent on Friday. Aside from getting into foul trouble, Big Baby’s back was giving him problems. However, Davis said on Saturday that he is fine and will play on Sunday. The co-captain sprained his shoulder on Dec. 19 and sat out 11 games.
Cohen’s Analysis: A mix of veterans, including Al Harrington and Hedo Turkoglu, and youngsters such as Gustavo Ayon participated in a three-on-three scrimmage after practice on Saturday. Jacque Vaughn said this was the most Harrington has done since returning to practice last week. Turk, who broke his hand on opening night, came back in late December but is still feeling discomfort and Ayon hasn’t played since Jan. 2 as a result of a thigh injury.
Cohen’s Analysis: Dirk Nowitzki is 34 years old and just dealt with a serious knee injury. Any player – regardless of prior status – who is above 30 and is recovering from a major injury is in danger of never being the same. It seems to be happening with others such as Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire – all former All-Stars who aren’t at the upper echelon any longer. It’s very possible that Dirk is on the verge of being just a big name without the performance to defend it.
Cohen’s Analysis: It remains to be seen if Dallas’ stirring overtime affair against Oklahoma City will cause it any exhaustion for Sunday in Orlando. OJ Mayo buried a game tying 3-pointer with three seconds left in regulation to force the extra session. But, Kevin Durant’s exhilarating performance, culminating with a career-best 52 points, was too much for the Mavs to overcome. Dallas had previously won four straight prior to Friday’s defeat.