ATLANTA – When Dirk Nowitzki’s right knee started given him problems almost three weeks ago, the Dallas Mavericks started shifting gears.
And when Nowitzki had to get his knee drained twiceover the past three weeks -- and the swelling still didn’t disappear -- the Mavs knew that surgery was going to have to occur to cure the situation. Thus, the arthroscopic surgery Nowitzki underwent Friday morning didn’t catch the Mavs totally off-guard.
“There was a strong chance of this two-and-a-half weeks ago,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said after this morning’s shootaround at Philips Arena. “There’s no surprises here.’’
Nowitzki will be sidelined for about six weeks, leaving the Mavs without their marquee player. But the Mavs do get a break since eight of their first regular season 12 games are against teams who were in the NBA Draft Lottery last year.
However, Carlisle noted that other that the first two regular season games against the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz, he hasn’t allowed himself to glance and see exactly who the Mavs play until Nowitzki returns, which may not be until around the first week of December.
“I know who our first two games are and after that I’m not focused on anything else,’’ Carlisle said. “We’ve got to move forward with the guys we’ve got.
“The games are going to be all about pace, continuous movement and efficiency.’’
-- Dwain Price
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