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Dirk Nowitzki volunteers to come off the bench after loss to Suns

dirk nowitzki
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks are officially in desperation mode.

After Thursday night’s 102-95 loss to their fellow bottom-dwelling Phoenix Suns, star forward Dirk Nowitzki is ready to make any changes necessary to take the Mavericks out of their early-season rut.

“Obviously, I’ve said that we want to compete and we want to make the playoffs,” Nowitzki told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “If that means I’m the 10th man, so be it. We’ve got to try to figure out what we’ve got and win some games and make a run. If that’s what this team needs to win some games.”

Center Andrew Bogut recently volunteered to come off the bench as him and Nowitzki haven’t been able to click on both ends of the floor like management expected.

Nowitzki seems to think that Bogut is a better fit for the starting unit because of his ability to alter shots on defense and his overall basketball IQ.

“(Bogut) is smart out there, he’s a very good rim protector for that smaller team,” said Nowitzki. “I think the coaches always look at every possibility for us to compete and win some games. Throw whatever lineup we need to throw out there to be successful.”

Benching Nowitzki would be by admission of the team, handing the reins to Harrison Barnes and subtly flipping the page into the German’s retirement speech.

The sixth-leading scorer in league history has only come off the bench in seven games over the last 17 seasons — but desperate times call for desperate measures and Dallas sitting 14 games below .500 nearly halfway through the season is desperate alright.

Having a star player coming off the bench is almost always a point of no return, so if Rick Carlisle and the rest of the coaching staff indeed choose to bring him off the bench, the end of the Nowitzki era is indeed much closer than it appeared.

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