Dirk Nowitzki will sit out for at least a week with lingering Achilles soreness, turning a bad situation for the Mavericks even worse.
Dallas has started the year 0-5, the worst start in franchise history. Now Nowitzki will miss at least three games, making it even more difficult for the Mavericks to rebound from a disastrous first two weeks.
Here’s what Dirk said about his injury:
"It's been the same for a week now. It gets better on days off, and as soon as I go out there and try to push off, try to show on pick-and-rolls, run backwards, all that stuff is just uncomfortable and sore. So just thought I'd just shut it down. I mean, it makes no sense to keep dragging this for weeks, you know? Obviously, it hasn't really gotten better, so we're going to take a few days off and not get on the court, not do all the stuff that makes it sore. And hopefully, I'll be better in a couple days and we can ramp it back up. But for now, that's where we're at. It just hasn't gotten to the point where I can move well, where I can move pain free, so it just doesn't make any sense to be out there."
Nowitzki has already missed two games this season, although both were due to illness, not his Achilles. However, that problem has been lingering since the season started, and that it hasn’t got better despite plenty of off days is troublesome. Dirk is 38 now, and while his jump shot is as pure as ever, there are glaringly obvious signs of physical decline that have only ramped up in the past few seasons.
This is terrible news. The Mavericks almost won one game without Nowitzki available, and they are definitely capable of winning more. However, any chance of actually pushing for a playoff spot in the ultra-competitive Western Conference depends on Nowitzki’s brilliance. Even if he misses some time, it doesn’t help that he’s not with the team with expectations he’ll have to be added back into the mix at some point. Devin Harris is already missing time for Dallas, and Wesley Matthews has a banged up knee.
It’s also worth noting that Nowitzki is expecting the birth of a third child sometime this month. He should, of course, get as much time to assist and celebrate that process as needed.
Either way, a bad start to the season keeps taking hits, and the Mavericks are getting into more serious trouble.