DALLAS -- Forward Jae Crowder hopes to be in the mix for some increased playing time tonight if Dirk Nowitzki can't play against the Milwaukee Bucks.
But Crowder believes he isn't the only one who has to be on high alert if Nowitzki -- he missed this morning's shootaround with a stomach illness -- won't be able to play against the team that drafted him ninth overall in 1998.
"Everybody's got to step up,'' Crowder said. "Even the guys who aren’t playing a lot of minutes, they’re going to get some more shots.
"So you've got to step up as a team. Of course, I’m mentally getting myself ready to step up as well.''
The return of Brandan Wright tonight should help since, in addition to his duties as a center, he can also play Nowitzki's power forward position. Wright only played in the preseason opener against New Orleans before being sidelined with a small non-displaced fracture of his left shoulder which occurred in an Oct. 8 practice session.
Crowder believes the flow offensive system which coach Rick Carlisle implemented will help them get through tonight's game successfully if Nowitzki is unable to play.
"We have to play within the system, believe in our system and know we have the right players, the right veterans,'' Crowder said. "We still have our veterans players intact, so we just have to play off those guys and play within our system.''
-- Dwain Price
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