MIAMI, FL - MAY 31: Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks drives on Udonis Haslem #40 of the Miami Heat in the fourth quarter in Game One of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on May 31, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Dirk Nowitzki Tears Tendon In Middle Finger, Will Wear Splint In NBA Finals

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki tore a tendon in his left middle finger during Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The Mavs lost to the Miami Heat to open the series, 92-84.

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Dirk Nowitzki Injury To Affect Dribbling, Passing, Catching

Dirk Nowitzki's injury on his left ring finger has led many to declare that it won't make a huge difference because Nowitzki is right-handed and the left hand merely acts as a guide hand on his jump shot. But as Nowitzki himself says it, there is much more to the game than just shooting. In a media session before Game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals, Nowitzki admitted that he will probably feel the effects of his torn tendon in many areas of the game.

Via Dwain Price of the Fort Werth Star-Telegram:

"I don't think it's going to be necessarily bothering me on the shot," Nowitzki said prior to Wednesday's practice. "It's not like you do anything crazy with it.

"It's going to be other stuff -- dribbling, passing, catching, swiping down -- stuff like that. I think it will be OK."

Nowitzki did say he is not worried, and he should still be close to himself no matter what. But his admission that there are certain areas where his injury could affect him should be a reality check. So much of Nowitzki's game is setting himself up to take good shots, and the finger injury will make that task more difficult.

For more on Nowitzki's injury, stay with this StoryStream. For the perspective from Dallas, head over to Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas.    

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Dirk Nowitzki Injury Will Impact Left Hand Dribble, Says ESPN's Tim Legler

Some of the initial reaction to the revelation of Dirk Nowitzki's injury, a torn tendon in the middle finger of his left, non-shooting hand, was relief: at least Nowitzki's shooting hand, the right hand that propelled so many shots into the hoop during the Mavericks' run to the NBA Finals, was fine.

But ESPN analyst Tim Legler, in an interview with ESPN's Mike and Mike In The Morning radio show, noted that the injury might hamper Nowitzki in ways beyond his shot, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

"That's a big problem for Dirk Nowitzki because he actually prefers to go left, particularly when he starts from the middle of the floor at the top of the key," Legler said. "He loves to go left, swing through and go that way for either a step back jumper or to try to get to the rim to finish with that left hand. Both of those things are going to be affected by his inability to squeeze that basketball and get a firm grip on it."

Nowitzki is obviously a resourceful scorer, and has played through injuries before in his career. But with an injury and the Heat's relentless defense mitigating Dirk's chances of saving Dallas with 30- and 40-point explosions, the Mavericks' road to an NBA title is far steeper than it was heading into Tuesday night.

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Dirk Nowitzki Injury Not A Huge Concern For Miami Heat Players

Dirk Nowitzki's injury on the ring finger of his non-shooting hand is not something the Miami Heat players seem too concerned about heading into Game 2. The Heat expect Nowitzki to be himself despite admitting he had a torn tendon in that left ring finger. LeBron James in particular is expecting the same old Dirk.

"He's right-handed. He'll be all right," he said of Nowitzki following Game 1. "He shoots the ball extremely well. That left hand is just a guide hand for all shooters. We all know that. It won't affect him. He's still going to be great. He's still Dirk."    

Sure, the injury won't matter much with the actual shot, but it could affect Nowitzki's ability to get position. Nowitzki likes to use both hands equally to maneuver his body into the perfect position to launch his patented jumper, and that may be a problem with a torn tendon in his left finger. He also likes to go left, and this injury will probably affect his ability to do that.

For more on Nowitzki's injury, stay with this StoryStream. For the perspective from Dallas, head over to Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas.    

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Dirk Nowitzki Injury Affects Middle Finger On His Non-Shooting Hand

Following the Dallas Mavericks loss to the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, we learned Dirk Nowitzki had sustained torn tendons in his left middle finger. We know Nowitzki will wear a splint on his injured finger, but will be fine to play in Game 2. What we don't know is how the injury will affect him, or if it will at all. If there's good news for Dallas fans, it's that the torn tendons are in the middle finger of his non-shooting hand, lessening the blow and, perhaps, the pain involved.

Nowitzki himself downplayed the injury on Tuesday night, saying he'll be ready to go on Thursday and doesn't think it will affect his game.

"I thought I stripped him clean, then I kind of looked down and I couldn't straighten my finger out anymore," said Nowitzki, who had 27 points on 7-of-18 shooting as the Mavs fell behind in a series for the first time this postseason. "So I tore a tendon in there. I guess it will be all right. I have to wear a splint probably the rest of the playoffs."

His left hand is his guide hand, and while the injury and split used to protect it may be uncomfortable, this may not be the death blow for the Mavericks. Nowitzki's shot should be fine, though the splint may take some getting used to in the days leading up to Game 2.

However, the trouble for Nowitzki may not be in the act of shooting, but rather setting up his shot. With the split, dribbling could become more difficult, and any attempt by the Heat to swipe the ball could result in immediate pain, should they hit his injured finger.

We're flying blind ahead of Game 2, with no real indication as to how Nowitzki's injury may affect the Mavericks and his own game. If he can handle the pain and get used to the splint on his left hand, Dallas may be fine. If the injury worsens -- and it may overnight -- the Mavericks face an uphill battle over the rest of the series as they face a Miami team that already looks poised to bring home the title.

For more on Nowitzki's injury, stay with this StoryStream. For the perspective from Dallas, head over to Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas.

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Dirk Nowitzki Injury: Dallas Mavericks Forward Tears Tendon In Middle Finger, Will Wear Splint In NBA Finals

The Dallas Mavericks loss to the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals may prove more costly than 1-0 hole the team fell into with a 92-84 loss on Tuesday night. While the Heat are dealing with an unknown injury to Mike Miller, Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki sustained a far worse injury as he tore a tendon in his left middle finger. The injury will force the Mavs' forward to wear a splint throughout the rest of the NBA Finals as he attempts to play through it.

The news came from ESPN's Brian Windhorst, and is certainly not good for the Mavericks.

Dirk Nowitzki just said he tore a tendon in his left middle finger. Will wear a splint for rest of playoffs. Happened when Dirk stripped ball from Chris Bosh. Said he couldn't straighten finger after injury.

This is just about the worst case scenario for Dallas, who needs Nowitzki to be at his best to hang with the Heat. In Game 1, Miami turned the jets on in the fourth quarter and pulled away for an eight-point win, 92-84. And while dropping Game 1 by no means puts the Mavericks in a hole the can't claw out of, having Nowitzki at anything less than 100 percent for the most important games of the season is a significant blow to Dallas' chances.

We'll be back with more on Nowitzki's injury as information becomes available. For more on the Mavericks, head over to SB Nation's Mavs Moneyball or SB Nation Dallas.

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