After going 2-7 without their star player out of the lineup with a knee injury, the Mavericks were certainly happy to get forward back on Saturday night against the Memphis Grizzlies. His return was the only thing they were happy with however, as Dallas struggled mightily again, dropping its fifth straight game to fall to 26-13 on the season.
In the 89-70 Memphis win, seldom used Mavs reserve Ian Mahinmi shot 6-6 from the floor. Unfortunately, the rest of the team shot 18-68, including a 2-7 performance from Nowitzki in his first game back before getting ejected. Dallas did have it’s best defensive game in a while after allowing it’s last three opponents to score over 100 points, but the team is clearly struggling right now.
“We’re not in rhythm right now,” said Mavs guard Jason Terry, who had only eight points and shot 4 of 14. “Blame it on whatever you want, but, like I said, it’s up to us to get it done.” – Courtesy of the Associated Press
The return of Nowitzki, who’s recent stretch of missed games was the longest of his career, should be the impetus necessary to get the Mavericks back on track (especially if he can stay on the court for a whole game). When he went down with the injury, the Mavs were in the race for the best record in the NBA. Now, they are just hoping to find the swagger on both ends of the floor that got them off to a 24-5 start.