DALLAS -- Anyone about to write Dirk Nowitzki off as an aging superstar on his last leg, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said they better think again.
"He's getting ready, he's getting ready,'' Carlisle said after Friday morning's shoot around at American Airlines Center. "My hope is that he doesn't have to be the statistical giant he's been in other years and that we can work that out with our balance and come up with the right balance.
"But he's ready to go.''
Nowitzki underwent surgery last season on his right knee and wound up missing 29 games. The Mavs were 13-16 in the games he missed, and clearly believe they would have made the playoffs if they would have had a healthy Nowitzki for the entire season.
Nowitzki has said he's fit to go, and his stats bear that out. In the Mavs' seven preseason games the 16-year veteran is averaging 14.8 points and 3.5 rebounds in 24.9 minutes per game, and is also shooting a robust 53 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from the three-point stripe and 92.9 percent from the free throw line.
-- Dwain Price
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