DALLAS -- In retrospect, the Dallas Mavericks knew they were going to be in a world of trouble when superstar Dirk Nowitzki missed the first 27 games this season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.
Trouble, as in, that journey to the playoffs just got a tab bit tougher.
"It's going to bring about challenges, no question,'' coach Rick Carlisle said after Friday morning's shootaround at American Airlines Center. "But we are where we are.
"Through it all there's been some positives that we can take away from it. Going forward we've got to see where we're at this summer and we've got to get the team better.''
The Mavs were 12-15 in those first 27 games Nowitzki missed. They also lost to the Golden State Warriors (100-97) and beat Phoenix (109-99) in two other games Nowitzxki missed later in the season due to a strained right adductor.
Overall, the Mavs have missed the playoffs this year for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.
-- Dwain Price
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