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Dirk says he 'fell in a hole' after November, will play fewer minutes this year

Nowitzki hopes to avoid that hole from last season with a smaller load.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dirk Nowitzki didn't have his greatest season last year. It looked like he would, beginning the year with a blistering shooting month in November while averaging 19 points per game. However, his shooting -- particularly his three-point shot -- fell off in the following months until he finally cleaned up his act late in the year.

At Mavericks media day on Monday, Dirk acknowledged his struggles.

"Last year I felt really good in the month of November, I started off feeling good and doing well and then I kind of fell in a hole from December to March," he said. "I'm hoping to avoid that hole this year and hopefully still effective minutes when I'm out there."

Rick Carlisle said he'd like to keep Dirk around 26 minutes per game this season, down from the 29.6 minutes per game he averaged last year.

"We've got to try to notch it down a little bit," Carlisle said. "It's tricky because if play him too few minutes he'll never get into the flow of the game and he's very much a rhythm flow player. I have no concerns that we'll won't be able to continue the transition and lighten the load a little bit."