Dirk Nowitzki thinks Mavs can’t afford a bad start if there is hope for playoffs
Dirk Nowitzki is coming back for an NBA-record 21st season with the same team, the Dallas Mavericks, hopeful to go out on a winning note. For the 7-footer, that would be another adventure in the playoffs, but judging by the Mavs’ last two seasons, that seems to be a work in progress.
The 40-year-old noted that if the team indeed aspires to reach the postseason, they would have to avoid the early losses, which can pile up as the season gears into November and December when teams find their rhythm.
“The key is, I guess, for us to have a better start,” said Nowitzki, according to Dwain Price of Mavs.com. “I think for us that was a little tough last year to kind of have a tough schedule in November last year and then to pile the losses up on a younger team, so that was just a little frustrating.
“So hopefully we can get a little energy going and get everybody excited and positive about the team and then hopefully play well.”
The Mavs got off to a 9-25 start last season, which set them up for another year at the cellar of the Western Conference.
This time around, they added DeAndre Jordan over the offseason after missing out on inking him three summers ago, this time bound to provide a presence in the middle as one of the best play-finishers around the rim and a viable shot-blocking presence at center.
Dallas also made the first big splash of the NBA Draft, trading for Luka Doncic, which could set up a book-worthy passing of the baton from one great international talent to another.