DALLAS -- Before the conversation went too deep, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said there’s been no discussions on whether to sit forward Dirk Nowitzki so he can re-fresh his mind and body.
Nowitzki, 35, had his worst shooting performance of the season Sunday when he was just 2-of-12 from the field and finished with just 10 points in the 107-104 overtime loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
“I talked to him for awhile yesterday -- he feels good physically,’’ Carlisle said. “If there was a physical reason to rest him, if he was really exhausted, but at this point we’re not at that point.
“We just got to get him going, and we just got to get him the ball in the right places. A lot of it depends on if we get stops and rebounds and get in transition, then things open up around the floor for all of our guys.’’
Back on Jan. 22, when Nowitzki was fatigued, the Mavs sat him during a 93-85 road loss to the Toronto Raptors. In Nowitzki’s first game back, he was just 5-of-15 from the field and tallied 18 points during a loss to the Nets.
But for the next six games Nowitzki was 58-of-95 from the field for 61.1 percent and averaged 28.2 points.
However, the problem with sitting Nowitzki now is that the Mavs are in danger of not advancing to the playoffs for a second straight season. They’re currently tied with Phoenix for the eighth spot at 42-29, and will host Oklahoma City at 7 tonight at American Airlines Center.
“He wouldn’t agree to sit right now anyway,’’ Carlisle said. “We got to get him better shots -- it’s got to be a team consciousness.
“Typically when we’re in our flow game and the ball is just moving, the ball’s got to find the best players in the right spots on the court. We’ve done it well enough times this year where I’m certain that we can do it.’’
Carlisle took blame for not getting Nowitzki any quality shots in his comfort zone.
“It’s on me to make the right play calls at the right time to get him touching it in the right situations,’’ he said. “It’s difficult, though, if we’re going to just call plays to get Dirk the ball every time because then teams will really load up on him.
“So the right balance has got to be there. He’ll bounce back. It’s a rare off night (for Nowitzki) and we just got to get back out there.’’
-- Dwain Price
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