Dirk Nowitzki has been around long enough to know when he’s
playing a losing hand. And with Peja Stojakovic on board, he knows he has a new
Steve Novak on his hands.
Before Novak was waived in early January to make room for
Sasha Pavlovic, the 6-10 Novak was the kind of the 3-point shoot-offs the
Mavericks had during practices. He was unbeatable.
Now, there’s Stojakovic, who has more than 1,700 3-pointers
made in his career.
“I just shot with him, and he beat me every single
time,’’ Nowitzki said of Stojakovic. “We all know what he did
in this league. He’s one of the best shooters in this league. And his
stroke is still there.’’
Nowitzki, meanwhile, is hopeful that the Mavericks can build
on their second half Tuesday against the LA Clippers, when they outscored Blake
Griffin and Co. 58-43 while holding them to 44.4 percent shooting.
“That’s the kind of energy we need to compete
with,’’ he said. “Right now, we’re just not good enough
to coast and win games. When your average age is about 36, there will always be
some nights when you are a step slow. But we have to bring that energy like we
did in the second half.’’