Dirk Nowitzki hopes to show home fans he can still play

DALLAS – There’s a pretty good chance that Dirk Nowitzki will be announced with the Mavs’ starting five for the first time this season Saturday night.

There’s a very good chance Nowitzki, who practiced with the starters Friday for the first time since recovering from his right knee scope, will have his best home performance of the season.

That standard admittedly isn’t very high. Nowitzki readily acknowledges he played poorly in his first two home appearances of the season. He scored a total of 13 points on 5-of-19 shooting in 41 minutes during lopsided losses last week to the Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs.

Nowitzki looked Dirk-like in limited doses during the recent road trip, scoring a total of 30 points on 12-of-22 shooting in 46 minutes while the Mavs split games against the Washington Wizards and Miami Heat. He hopes to continue that progress Saturday against the New Orleans Hornets.

“I haven’t really had a good home game since I got back,” Nowitzki said, “so hopefully I can show the fans that I can still play a little bit.”