When the Mavericks departed for their current three-game swing through Denver, Golden State and Los Angeles to play the Clippers, Dallas coach Avery Johnson talked about “a miracle” that might have Dirk Nowitzki joining the Mavericks for at least the Clippers game.
That's not going to happen. Johnson said Nowitzki is making progress and has spent time working on a stairmaster and stationary bike and also did some shooting.
“But no serious running,” Johnson said after Mavericks practice in Oakland on Saturday. “He’s not ready for that. We’ll see him when we get back off the road trip -- pretty much what we thought.”
Johnson plans to take some of the reserve players to the Mavericks practice court on Tuesday and perhaps put them and Nowitzki through a light workout. He said until then, the Mavericks simply have to find a way to play good basketball for most of the game rather than the two quarters that they played well against the Nuggets in a loss on Thursday.
Johnson said the Mavericks still have the ability to make the playoffs. "Everything is based on us being strong and whole," he said. "We wanted to finish strong but we’re not whole right now and we have to stay whole in our chemistry and guys figuring out how to play in certain situations. Those are some of the growing pains we’ve had to go through."
-- Jan Hubbard