Dirk Nowitzki: Struggles Will Come to an End Eventually

by February 02, 2012

During the Dallas Mavericks’ loss to the OKC Thunder last night, Dirk Nowitzki posted the worst shooting night of his season so far (8 points on 2-15 shooting). And until he gets his body right, Nowitzki knows the personal struggles will continue, but hopes that he can turn things around soon. From the Star-Telegram: “So, what’s wrong with Nowitzki? ‘I’ve just got to keep on working, come in at night like what I always do,” Nowitzki said. ‘I lift on off days and get my shots up and just keep on working, and keep working in the right direction. I think it’s going to come eventually. I can’t tell you how long it’s going to take, but eventually it’s going to come back.’ The Mavs know they must be careful with Nowitzki, who has carried this team for quite some time. But nights like Wednesday night must leave them scratching their heads. ‘At this point we’ve all got to be patient,’ coach Rick Carlisle said. ‘The medical aspect to this, I can’t speak to. I’m not a doctor. But this is going to take some time and we’re going to have to be patient, and he’s going to have to work through it.’ Last year when Nowitzki missed nine games with a sprained right knee, it took him awhile to find his rhythm once he got back on the court. But once he found it, he went on to become the Most Valuable Player in the NBA Finals, which the Mavs won in six games over the Miami Heat. The Mavs are hoping for some similar results this season. […] Since returning to the lineup this past Sunday against San Antonio, Nowitzki has converted just 11 of 39 shots for 28.2 percent, and scored only 28 points in 38 minutes. When Nowitzki is in rhythm, he’ll score 28 points just falling out of bed. But those days appear to be long gone. And it may be some cause for concern for the Mavericks and their franchise player, who turns 33 in June. ‘I think maybe sometimes I’m not confident in the movement,’ Nowitzki said. ‘I swing the ball and do pick-and-rolls instead of really making a hard move, and when I try to make a hard move it bothers me a little bit. But it is what it is. I think I’ve got to play through that and I’ll get it right sooner.’ Physically, Nowitzki noted there aren’t any issues going on, adding that he’s ‘better than I was two-three weeks ago. At least that’s a good thing, and I’ve got to keep on working. But the swelling is gone, so I think that was the major thing for the first month dealing with swelling off and on. But it’s been reacting well since we took that little break. It hasn’t swell up after games, and so that’s the major thing, so that’s encouraging. The rest is just hard work.'”