In a last minute lineup change, the Dallas Mavericks had Dirk Nowitzki starting at center in place of Tyson Chandler which seemed weird until the man from Würzburg dropped 30 points.
“When Coach came up to me and asked me if I wanted to start at 5 [center], I thought he’d had a few beers to come up with that idea,” Nowitzki said. “But it was really smart to put them in rotations.
“With Tyson being out, we had to junk up the game a little. We started as small as I can remember. Not even Nellie would have started this lineup with Barea at the 3. But it worked pretty well. We knew we weren’t going to pound them on the inside. So we tried to spread them out and find the open shooter. We knew to have a chance, we had to shoot the ball well because you’re not going to get in the paint on them.”
This marked the first time in nearly five years since Nowitzki last played at center.