All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki and point guard Deron Williams did not travel with the rest of the Dallas Mavericks for their upcoming west coast trip, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN.
It is undetermined if either will rejoin the team at some point during the trip. Nowitzki is dealing with a sore achilles and has been declared out for the upcoming back-to-back and Williams is dealing with a calf strain and a groin injury.
J.J. Barea has been excellent filling in for Williams, as he had two 20-point games since the Illinois product went down. Dwight Powell and Quincy Acy will see extended time at power forward in Nowitzki’s absence.
Head coach Rick Carlisle is sure to find time for rookie Dorian Finney-Smith as well. He logged big minutes for the first time in his young career in the Mavericks’ first win of the season, scoring five points with three rebounds, three steals and a block as a catalyst in the victory.
Dallas is in peril of finding itself as one of the bottom teams in the Western Conference, as they have a brutal schedule coming up. The Mavericks (1-5) will play seven of their next nine games on the road, including games against Golden State, San Antonio and Cleveland — three of the top four teams in ESPN’s power rankings.
Carlisle will need his best horses by then, or they could be looking at a very unpleasant bottom of the barrel in a ruthless conference.