The Wolves tonight tip off a rare weekend of back-to-back home games, or maybe they won't be so rare going forth as the NBA tries to minimize the demands presented by an 82-game schedule on its players.



Tonight's game against Dallas features future Basketball Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki and Wolves veteran Jamal Crawford.

Each just keeps on going: Nowitzki is 39 and in his 20th NBA season. Crawford is 37 and in his 18th.

"It's really amazing when you start to think about the way players are taking care of themselves now and the resources that they have from sports science and nutrition and sleep specialists, all those things," Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. "It doesn't surprise me. You're seeing guys play a lot longer. I look at Jamal and just watch the way he practices and plays every day. I saw the same thing with Dikembe Mutombo in Houston.

"I think body type has a lot to do with it and your conditioning. Then, of course, you need the good fortune of not being injured."

Nowitzki has been healthy this season, even if his Mavericks aren't, at least not in the standings. They've started the season 1-9.

Charlotte will be in town today after Friday's game at San Antonio, waiting for tomorrow's game against the Wolves.

Both games are 7 p.m. tips.

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