Dirk Nowitzki to play tonight against Oklahoma City

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Mavericks forward returns after missing the last two games with an injured thigh muscle.

Hello everyone! Have a good Super Bowl Sunday? Little hungover? Here's something to put a pep in your step:

Hooray! Dirk is back tonight against the Thunder. Eventually, Dallas is going to have to beat an elite team at some point before the trade deadline to give any indication that they are legit playoff contenders. It feels like ages since Dallas beat a team that was ahead of it in the standings. Dirk's presence should be a nice boost.

Dirk still hasn't put up a typical Dirk game yet (the definition is subjective, but for me, it's something like 33 points on 19 shots, 10 free throw attempts, 8 or 9 rebounds) and tonight would be as good as ever to have one. Looks like he'll be playing through some pain, however.

Perhaps the most alarming news here: Dirk saying he'd need "two weeks" to get healthy again. Sheesh. As Jeff Caplan from NBA.com put it, remember when Dirk was always healthy all the time forever? I miss those days.



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