Opening Tip: Can Calderon play in New Orleans?

DALLAS -- Point guard Jose Calderon was limping noticeably as he left the American Airlines Center after the Dallas Mavericks' win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday night.

After a one-game absence due to a bone bruise in his right ankle, Calderon returned to Dallas’ starting lineup and played 33 serviceable minutes, but the day-to-day designation will apparently continue as the Mavs begin a four-game road trip.

“It was good,” Calderon said of his ankle. “I don’t know what it’s going to be in a few hours, but it’s OK.”

Added Mavs coach Rick Carlisle: “We’ll see how he is tomorrow, but he was vital tonight. He played extremely well.”

Calderon’s statistics in the win over the Bobcats won’t overwhelm anybody. He scored 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting (4-of-5 from 3-point range) and dished out only one assist, only the sixth time he has had one or fewer assists in a game he started during his nine-year NBA career.

But Calderon’s calming effect for the offense has immense value for the Mavs, as does the threat he presents as a perimeter shooter.

“He’s one of the lowest turnover point guards in the league and he puts us in the right sets offensively,” Dirk Nowitzki said. “Then on the weak side, he’s one of the best shooters, and his presence means a lot to us out there. He was great again tonight. He grinded it out and we needed him.”

They’ll need Calderon again Wednesday night in New Orleans. Whether he’ll be able to answer the bell remains to be determined.