Some of the concern after Dirk Nowitzki revealed in his post-Game 1 press conference that he had a torn tendon in his left middle finger centered around the finger being a target of Heat players. Hands – and Dirk’s in particular – are exposed for virtually any player with the ball, and he has the ball a lot.
Udonis Haslem told Jeff Caplan that he, for one, won’t try to swipe at Nowitzki’s fingers to induce pain.
I’m not that type of player that’s going to slap him on the hand every chance I get or anything like that," Haslem said. "I don’t believe in that.
The greater difficulty for the Mavericks is that swipes at the ball won’t only come from dirty plays. A popular way to defend the German is to attempt to take advantage of his naturally high dribble and long movements to knock the ball loose. And even if Haslem doesn’t take that approach, he will only guard Nowitzki for roughly half of the game.