Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki has still yet to play one minute for the team this season, but his return from injury is nearing ever the closer.
The German sharpshooter had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and has been in recovery mode ever since. Apparently, he’s close to full health, which clearly would be a huge boost to a Dallas team that is struggling to stay afloat.
Rick Carlisle has done his very best to keep the Mavs competitive without their best player on the floor, but it’s proven to be a herculean task. As of now they’re 8-9 on the year, putting them fourth in the Southwest Division.
With Nowitzki out, O.J. Mayo has had to take on an even bigger scoring role, and he’s done an excellent job at doing so. He’s averaging a team-best 20.2 points per game and is shooting 47.6 percent overall and 52.7 percent from three.
Chris Kaman, Vince Carter, Shawn Marion and others are playing well too, but there’s no one like Dirk. He’s going to step in and make an immediate impact.
Consider that Nowitzki has averaged 22.9 points and 8.3 rebounds over his career and you can see why the Mavs may be a little more than happy to get him back. He’s been in the league for over 14 years and has transformed his game dramatically for the better. Dirk’s numbers were slightly down last season (21.6 PPG and 6.7 RPG), but he wasn’t fully healthy and the shortened schedule didn’t help matters either.
So, once Nowitzki is back and fully integrated once more, expect the Mavericks to win far more often going forward. We can’t overstate his importance to the team, as Dallas’ offense, which ranks a solid #11 overall with 98.8 points per game, should only get more efficient with him on the court.