Dirk Surgery Doesn’t Finish Mavs

The Mavericks without Dirk Nowitziki.

There are images that come to mind:

— The Sahara without sand.

— Niagara Falls without water.

— Las Vegas without casinos.

Is there really even a reason to visit?

The bad news out of Dallas is that the uber-Maverick forward underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee today and the doctors have said that he’ll be off the court for roughly six weeks.

The good news from sources is the Mavs’ worst fears — a need for microfracture surgery — were not realized, and that Nowitzki has historically been a very quick healer.

When Dallas planned to unveil a new starting lineup with Darren Collison, O.J. Mayo and Chris Kaman, nobody ever expected it to be missing the sun in the center of their solar system. It is Dirk’s ability to score from anywhere and command the attention of defenses that is supposed to open things up for the new trio. Toss in the other newcomer Elton Brand and the heat is on.

If Nowitzki is sidelined for six weeks, the Mavericks would play 13 regular season games without him, and that means the new pieces to the lineup puzzle — especially forward Brand and center Kaman in the frontcourt — will have to step up right away to prevent Dallas from falling into too big a hole in the standings in what promises to a crowded and fierce Western Conference race for the eight playoff spots.

As alarming as it might be for Mavs fans to see Nowitzki undergo any type of surgery for the first time in his 14-year career, it was likely a decision that will prove beneficial over the long run of the season.

Nowitzki’s knee problems first arose last year in training camp and he eventually had to take four games off in January to work on his conditioning. He also finished with the lowest stats — 21.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game — since his second season in the NBA. He had already missed the last three preseason games this year.

“If it’s going to keep swelling up on me, that’s obviously not a way to go through an 82-game season and hopefully a long playoff,” Nowitzki told Dallas reporters following a practice earlier this week.

Brand, who was claimed by the Mavericks after getting an amnesty release by the Sixers, was expected to be valuable as a backup to Nowitzki and also play at times in tandem with the 11-time All-Star. The thought was that Brand’s low-post skills would be a complement for Nowitzki and allow him to get away from the beating he often takes inside. Now the 33-year-old is on the spot from opening night Oct. 30 against the Lakers.

Being without Nowitzki to start the season definitely could put the Mavs in a deep hole. But the decision for surgery now could prevent them from getting buried later.

As pretty pictures go, six weeks of Dallas without Dirk might look like dogs playing poker on velvet. But it doesn’t have to be a hand that cashes the Mavs out for good.


  1. Jane Griffin says:

    The Mavs played terribly last year with Kidd and Jet so this year can’t be much worse. Everyone keeps saying they are screwed without them, but neither of them played well last year. I remember that fans were asking for Jet to be traded last year when he had all those games where he couldn’t score and Kidd basically didn’t play at all. Dirk wasn’t himself either so maybe with fresh young players the team will do better than last year. They lost a lot of players last year, but they still had their 2 main players who didn’t help Dirk much.

  2. mavs fan says:

    go mavs!! :DD

  3. Flying Raijin_41 says:

    It’s better to do this surgery now because the mavericks needs dirk nowitzki in the long run..He is the leading scorer and life of this team, he need to ready as the real battle with start…

  4. 0917vince says:

    The Mavs were finished a season ago when they let Chandler, Barea and Stevenson walk. They even made sure of it when they let JT, Kidd and Mahinmi go and wait, they just lost on the Williams and Howard sweepstakes did they? Oh yeah, they still have a chance on Howard, if he doesn’t feel at home in LAL, and they’re seriously considering it as a chance. Sure, they got some players this offseason that could get them by, and they just made Dirk reconsider about being a Mav for life. I don’t know about you but a late surgery sure does make me wonder if Dirk wants to move on while he can still don a superman cape. Just sayin…..

    • JohnDoe says:

      Fans these days have no clue what their talking about. Even though it is true that the Mavs let go some of their supporting cast in the championship run such as Chandler, however they did not “LET” Jason Kidd and JT go. Those decided to leave themselves. What were you expecting the organization to do to “FORCE” them to stay? Perhaps you could shed some light on this matter wise crack.

  5. dattebayo says:

    Well I have to say there are quite a few optimists here. Dirk is old, so his recovery, rehabilitation and conditioning after the surgery will take more time rather than less and certainly not only 2-3 weeks. He didn’t have the surgery in the summer because his knee didn’t swell up until training camp and you do not have surgeries just for precautionary measures or just for fun. You might fault him for not staying in game shape throughout the summer, so he could have noticed the knee issue, but that is something no athlete does (except for all those Olympians of course).
    This is gonna be a slow start for the Mavs, I don’t see CK or EB picking up everything Dirk did by himself.

    • Earl says:

      The reason he didn’t have the surgery is because Dirk pretty much calls his on shots,like last year after the championship,he played with the Germany team against the team wishes.The team trainer had to know what’s going on with Dirk’s knee,if he didn’t know then he would not be a very good trainer, would he.There were several player that played last year and after the season had off season surgery Wade,Bosh,several more.The decision not to have surgery was Dirk and Dirk’s alone.Knee injury don’t just go away just because the season ends.Been playing Basketball and watching it for over 50 years,what your experience.

      • dattebayo says:

        Dirk played in the Eurobasket in 2011 because he takes pride in playing for his country, just the same as Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker or Lebron James. If the NBA Teams could decide for the players, none of them would play because they can only get hurt. Naturally every franchise executive is against them playing internationally, that ain’t nothing new.
        Dirk ended last season pretty well and of course I don’t know whether he still had swelling in his knee that limited him in any way, but you can’t seriously be telling me that you think that Dirk is such a selfish player to just not get a necessary surgery over the summer. If you think Dirk just wanted to chill over the summer and did not want to deal with this issue and doesn’t care whether he can play or not and whether his team does well you are way way out there.

  6. Earl says:

    if Dirk had this problem last year,then why wasn’t this surgery done in the off season,somebody was sleep at the wheel.

  7. Kian says:

    It is okay Dirk is a quick healer its most likely 2-3 weeks only. We can do it.

  8. Paulo says:

    I see the Mavs getting as low as 5 wins to as much as 10 wins in that 13 game stretch. It just depends on how the new guys can play with each other. this is coming from a Mavs fan since forever. Im liking Jae Crowder. personally, i think he fits in better into the lineup than Cunningham. Expecting big years from Mayo, Kaman and Collison. GO MAVS

  9. Patrickmarc says:

    13 games without Nowitski,
    very good for Mavs! they have to work hard to stay in,
    and when Nowitski will be back, I hope we have a super team.