Let’s see, where were we?
When I left for an 18-day honeymoon the Mavs were bobbing around 8th place in the Western Conference, turning big leads into bad losses, relying on Dirk Nowitzki, and trying to keep Samuel Dalembert awake. Anything change?
They went 6-4 while I was out of the country, with a good win at Phoenix and another bad loss – via blown 21-point lead – to the Raptors. At 26-20 they’re still 8th in the West pending a visit from the Houston Rockets tonight at American Airlines Center.
And, yep, their main man is still the All-Star Nowitzki. At least he should be.
All-Star reserves will be announced Thursday, and – after missing the team last year for the first time in 11 years – Dirk should be headed to New Orleans for All-Star Weekend. Not will be. But should be.
Even at 35, with diminished minutes and even a couple of pre-ordained games in street clothes, Nowitzki is 13th in the NBA at 21 points per game. Kevin Durant, Kevin Love and Blake Griffin were named starters by fans as forwards. Houston’s Dwight Howard and Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge are no-brainers, leaving Dirk to land a spot over the likes of Tim Duncan, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis, whom I’m sure the NBA would love to have in New Orleans as the Pelicans’ hometown representative.
For what it’s worth, Dirk’s head coach believes he’ll be busy on All-Star Weekend.
“I’ve looked at it pretty close and he’ll make it,” Rick Carlisle told reporters earlier this week at AAC. “I just have a feeling that he will. And if he doesn’t, it’s great because he’ll have rest. But I do think, if you look at his stats and the load he’s carrying, the production and minutes, if he was playing the minutes some of those guys are playing, he’d be a 25-point scorer.”