“Obviously, DeAndre’s going to be our starter at the five position and the rest will just kind of fall in place after that,” Nowitzki said. “If (Harrison Barnes) goes back to the four or we start other ways, I have no idea as of yet. But it’s a great problem to have. We want to be a franchise that is back in the playoffs and plays well and has fun again and doesn’t lose 60 games again.”
The free agent addition of DeAndre Jordan would logically push Nowitzki to the bench but he isn’t sure if that will be the case. He could play power forward alongside Jordan if coach Rick Carlisle goes with a biggest lineup.
Coming off the bench would force Nowitzki to make an adjustment. He’d have to take steps to be ready once his number is called.
“I have no problem with that. I already told (the training staff) if that’s the case, they better keep me loose,” Nowitzki said. “We better get a (stationary) bike ready somewhere because if I warm up and sit somewhere for 15, 20 minutes, that’s going to be an issue. But no, hey, if that’s the role, and we’ll play great with it, then I’m all for it.”
Nowitzki came off the bench six times during the 2012/13 season but has since started every game in which he’s played. He appeared in 77 games last season as Carlisle carefully managed his minutes. He averaged 24.7 MPG last season, the fewest since his rookie campaign in 1998/99.
Nowitzki’s recovery from left ankle surgery has gone well and he’s confident he’ll be 100 percent by opening night, Sefko reports in a separate story. He began scrimmaging last week and felt some discomfort in the ankle but attributes that to the normal recovery process. He underwent the procedure in April.
“There were two bone spurs that kind of blocked me from doing (forward push and lateral movement) things. So they took those bone spurs out and now there’s a lot more movement in the ankle,” Nowitzki told Sefko about the surgery. “But all the tendons in the ankle aren’t used to moving that much now. Every now and then, it’s a little stiff. I scrimmaged a little last week and on Monday and it hasn’t really reacted amazing to it. But we’re positive that it’ll be fine.”