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Western Notes: Nowitzki, Rubio, Beverley

Mavs big man Dirk Nowitzki, who is recovering from a strained right Achilles tendon, told Marc Stein of ESPN.com, that he has resumed on-court work as he moves toward a return to the lineup. “It’s definitely better, but I really haven’t done much yet,” Nowitzki told Stein. “Today was good, but we didn’t go anything close to full speed. Just started moving on the court a bit. We don’t want to rush anything and go back to where we were last week. So if I feel anything this weekend, they’re going to ease off again. Obviously I want to play in the Garden on Monday [against the Knicks] and I want to play in Boston [on Wednesday] — two of my favorite road spots. But I just don’t know at this point if it’s going to happen.

Here’s more from out West:

  • Ricky Rubio, who has been out of action after suffering a sprained right elbow, may be nearing a return after practicing with the Wolves today, the team announced (via Twitter).
  • Rockets guard Patrick Beverley, who underwent knee surgery last month, could be cleared to return to practice as early as next week, Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). If that is indeed the case, Beverley could be back in Houston’s rotation by the end of November, Watkins adds.
  • James Harden has been impressive for the Rockets under new head coach Mike D’Antoni, but despite the guard putting up NBA-worthy numbers for Houston, the team still has work to do in order to be considered contenders, Oliver Maroney of Basketball Insiders writes. “We pretty much think James can do anything in Houston,” Morey told Basketball Insiders. “We’re happy he is showing it but we aren’t focused on it – we’re trying to improve the defense and get more wins. James is playing great. He’s the leader we need to go deep into the playoffs.”
  • Lance Stephenson, who was recently waived by the Pelicans after sustaining an injury, was a “model citizen” during his time in New Orleans, team sources told Stein in a separate article.

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