Dirk's out and Tyson Chandler is sick

SAN ANTONIO -- The Dallas Mavericks will be without Dirk Nowitzki tonight against the San Antonio Spurs and as if the situation isn't dire enough, Dallas could be down another starter. Center Tyson Chandler is under the weather and missed the morning shootaround.

Asked if Chandler will be able to play, coach Rick Carlisle said, "Hopefully."

Chandler was having a difficult time speaking after Thursday's practice because his voice was going hoarse. Later Thursday night he took to his Twitter account to ask for advice on what to take when you lose your voice.

Fourth-string center Alexis Ajinca said he expects to make his second consecutive start at power forward. If Chandler is unable to play, that leaves Carlisle with an interesting decision. He can start backup Brendan Haywood or former Spurs backup center Ian Mahinmi, who performed well the last time the Mavs played in San Antonio.

Mahinmi received playing time in that Mavs victory on Nov. 26 because Carlisle suspended Haywood for the game after a dust-up between the two at the morning shootaround. Haywood has yet to face the Spurs this season. Carlisle curiously did not play him in the second meeting on Dec. 30 in Dallas. It is Haywood's only DNP-CD of the year.