2006: Broken Heart. 2011: Torn Tendon. Ugh.
The frustrating thing about Dirk Nowitzki's injured finger? It happened on a play that wasn't a foul.
"I thought I stripped him clean," Dirk said after last night's 92-84 Game 1 loss to the Heat in the NBA Finals. "Then I kind of looked down and I couldn't straighten my finger out anymore."
On the play that Dirk tore a tendon in the middle finger of his left hand, he cleanly stripped the Heat's Chris Bosh. It was a big play in a lot of ways.
After Shawn Marion's three-point play, the Mavs pulled within 77-73 with 3:44 remaining. Bosh took a pass in the lane, went up for a shot and was cleanly stripped by Nowitzki.
Stockyards Championship Rodeo
TicketsSat., Dec. 3, 8:00pm
Diary of A MILF (Mom Id Love to Follow) Written and starring Meshelle
TicketsSat., Dec. 3, 8:15pm
SMU Mustangs Mens Basketball vs. Delaware State Hornets Mens Basketball
TicketsSun., Dec. 4, 2:00pm
WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs
TicketsSun., Dec. 4, 6:30pm
But instead of a steal and a possession for Dallas, it was whistled a foul. Two free throws, followed by a 3-pointer by Dwyane Wade on Miami's next possession and, bam, ball game.
Nowitzki certainly isn't known for his defense, but one of his "moves" is the slap-'n-strip. With him wearing a splint on the finger the rest of the series, it's a small asset taken away from his arsenal.
It will also affect his ball-handling. And perhaps his psyche?
The Heat, as expected, sent a lot of looks at Dirk and forced him to miss 11 of his 18 shots. Joel Anthony started on him, then a couple of possessions of Bosh and in the second half some Udonis Haslem. And, yes, lots of double-teams.
I still think LeBron James will cover Dirk on game-deciding possessions, but last night Miami didn't need him.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Dallas, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.