One thing about Dirk Nowitzki is that he is a tough player and there is nothing that will stop him from playing. However, if Nowitzki knee is more serious then we know and have to miss part of the season due to his knee then all hell will break loose in Dallas.
The Dallas Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki will wait awhile to see how his knee is doing and if indeed Nowitzki has to have arthroscopic surgery the sooner the better. If they decide not to do surgery due to signs that his knee will be okay it could be a bad thing for the Mavericks.
Nowitzki is entering his 15th season in the NBA and has spent his whole career with the Dallas Mavericks. At 34 years old the Big German has used a lot of gas in his legs and who knows how much longer it will keep running. If the Mavericks and Nowitzki decide not to treat the knee then it could be a long term effect if Nowitzki is given a lot of minutes throughout the season.
Let say Nowitzki does not treat the knee and then during mid- December he goes down with a knee injury. What happens then? If he goes down in the middle of the season and has to have a major knee surgery which will sideline him for the rest of the season then let Mavageddon rise in Dallas.
If Nowitzki is not on the court there is no doubt that the Mavericks are just a mediocre team in the NBA. Mavs Nation has seen when Nowitzki is not on the court and if that’s the case then the Mavericks could miss the post-season if he is not set to go for most of the season. The Mavs will look more of a team that they were after the 2006-07 season and before the 2009-10 season when they were just a team that was just there. A team that makes the post-season and gets swept in the first round or a team that wins 40-44 games, but does not make the playoffs because they are in the Western Conference where it is more dominate than the East. That’s how it could be if Nowitzki is not able to perform this season.
However, if Nowitzki does go down then it could be a blessing in disguise. Think about it. Nowitzki only has two more seasons left in his contract and after that who knows what he plans on doing. Maybe he retires or maybe he will sign a short term deal. In this case let say that in two years Dirk Nowitzki hangs it up and calls it quits.
If Nowitzki is out long term for this season then it will give a chance for Rick Carlisle, Mark Cuban, Donnie Nelson and the Mavs fans to see how the Mavs will perform in life after Dirk. Without Nowitzki Coach Carlisle, Cuban, and Nelson will be able to have an idea in what they need to do if any to build up a team after Nowitzki is gone.
Right now if Nowitzki is out the Mavs starting line up would most likely be Chris Kaman at center, Darren Collison and O.J. Mayo at the guard positions and then Elton Brand and Shawn Marion at the forward position. Then possibly the Mavs would use Vince Carter as their sixth man. That is probably not the best line up to have, but it’s a start. That line up right there will still get you 35-45 wins depending on other situations going on in the NBA. However, with this line up the Mavericks will be able to see what they would have without Nowitzki and building after he does retire will not be as hard and probably go faster than planned.
Also the Mavericks have three rookies who have the potential to become great NBA players if coached right. If they are able to build up Jae Crowder, James Bernard and Jared Cunningham to become close to an elite player then the Mavericks have their future stars to continue success in Dallas. They could also use them as trade pieces if built right to bring in superstars to build around Collison and Mayo.
In the end it may not be as bad as Mavs Nation believes it will be once Nowitzki is done with basketball. Maybe the future of the franchise will be in the hands of Mayo and Collison. Maybe the Mavericks will be able to bring in a third piece to a long with those two to make the Mavs have a “big three” once again.