Dirk’s Climb Back A Slow Grind


DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki‘s return to greatness is clearly going to be a rigorous climb as the Dallas Mavericks find themselves between rock and a very hard place.

Dirk came off the bench for the third game in a row Friday night against the Nuggets and although he took 10 shots, making just two for five points, it was almost as if he wasn’t there.

“I’m going to work myself into better shape obviously and can help a little more, but right now I’m not helping that much,” Nowitzki said. “I’m just a step slow, that was obvious, had really no lift on the jumper so everything was kind of in and out.”

The Mavs dropped to 0-3 with the franchise’s leading scorer back from October arthroscopic right knee surgery. They were blasted by San Antonio, beaten in OT at OKC on Thursday and then rocked at home by the Nuggets 106-85.

They’ve lost five in a row and eight of nine, slumping at 12-18, with the Spurs coming to town on Sunday. A week ago at San Antonio, the Spurs dropped a franchise-record 20 3-pointers on Dallas and led by 46 points late in the game.

Dirk played just 18 minutes against the Nuggets and not a second in the fourth quarter, even in the first half of the period when the game was still somewhat within striking distance.

But with the Mavs struggling every which way with Denver, coach Rick Carlisle said he decided enough was enough.

“It was too much tonight. That was my decision,” Carlisle said. “It was back-to-back games and he isn’t limping or anything, but he just can’t give us what everyone expects him to give. We had to get a different guy in there and this process is going to be ongoing.

“It is tough, but we have to hang in there and in the big picture we have to keep working towards his total health and sometimes that means pulling the plug.”

In this three games back, Dirk is averaging 7.3 points and he is 8-for-25 (32.0 percent) from the floor and 3-for-8 from 3-point range. He has 13 total rebounds and two assists while averaging 21.7 minutes.


  1. redsoul41 says:

    Just like Dirk said, it’s already been quite some since he last played, and he didn’t had much practice time because of the grueling stretch the Mavs are facing to end the year, Besides, there ain’t much any big man in their 30s that are left in the league that could still play like Dirk. He’ll get his stroke soon enough. This is nba , baby ! Anything can happen ! You just gotta believe !

  2. dakila says:

    Give him time and he will be back dominating. The team though, needs plenty more time to gel, OJ is a really good player and so are the other guards, Collison, Rodrigue and maybe Cunningham. Dirk and Carter can be good together but not with Kaman. They need a real power center.

  3. Hunter says:

    The 2013 season is not tanked, Dirk is back, it’s 1/3rd into the season and they have yet to begin. We will see what happens. I wouldn’t mind to see a trade for some players though.

    • dattebayo says:

      They stand at 12-18, they haven’t beaten any good teams this season and they will need 50 wins to make the playoffs, which means they need to win 38 out of 51 games. This Mavericks team is not bound for the playoffs this season and you can thank Cubes for that.

  4. Gskdmavs says:

    Really? guy has his first surgery in his whole career and you expect him to be back to form? come on give it time.

  5. lol says:

    danito that trade would never happened (i cant reply to comments) and for your information haters dirk is a good player but in his prime he was unstoppable but i guess hes aging now

  6. Chris says:

    yeah. Still the typical Dirk haters going around. Same old story like 2011 when Dallas won the ring. The problem is not Dirk, not the injury but the team and most obviously the stupid decisions of the owner. Get it

  7. DANITo says:

    the lakers should trade gasol for dirk. i think it helps both teams. dirk fits good with nash. and hes is a good 3 piont shooter. and for dallas they start rebuilding. i know he is not recovered yet but in the long run its a good trade.

    • Dieter says:

      I don’t think Gasol would be a good fit for the Mavericks. And I don’t see why Nash-Nowitzki would be better than Nash-Gasol. I hope Nowitzki will ever be great again, but injuries at his age can be very difficult to overcome. Dallas should trade Nowitzki for draft picks and young talent. They might not reach the playoffs this year, and next year, and Nowitzki could still be an important missing piece in the playoffs that could make Brooklyn, Houston, Denver, Chicago or Indiana a contender.

    • Mino says:

      Sorry, Dirk’s retiring here. Get your filthy yellow and purple hands off him

    • QuestionMark says:

      Again delusional Laker fans think they can go after another superstar just because he is supposedly having problems with his team,Its never gonna happen and it never will. If anything Dallas will ask for Howard for Dirk, no way would they just take Gasol.

  8. Aaron says:

    He shouldn’t be playing if he isn’t in top form. Why is he even on the court? I predict another injury… :~(

    • George says:

      Blame Mark Cuban for trading those with whom Dirk had chemistry. Dirk is not only recovering from injuries, he has more problems as the whole team is learning a new style of playing with each other.

    • defdun says:

      because the guy is injury-free but not at 100%… thats how you get back to top form..

  9. dirkkk says:

    The “Dirk Days” are over i guess

  10. Francis says:

    I’m calling it right now: Dirk’s great days are done! He’ll have many, many more good days and some very good days but he’s done being great (if you believe he ever was).

    • dattebayo says:

      He is an 11 time Allstar, a Regular Season MVP, a Finals MVP, he made the playoffs for a straight decade averaging 20+ points every season without missing many games. He once averaged 50% from the filed, 40% from deep and 90% from the freethrow line for an entire season, something that only he and Nash have done. You wanna tell me he is not a great player? In the 2011 playoffs he owned the league, no Thunder or Heat player could stop him.

      He is one of the All Time Greats in NBA History and when they announce the 75th Anniversary Team, he will be on that team.

    • QuestionMark says:

      Dirk was and always has been great, and his legendary performance in the Playoffs only helped him.

  11. Patrickmarc says:

    Strange world now, Dirk needs time to get back after injury, nothing wrong, same situation for Rubio…
    I think to all these players like Rose or Bogut or Roy, and I find it terrible.
    I wonder.. do you think injuries are more frequent than before?