Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki has finally returned to the court and his return could not come soon enough for the Mavericks franchise. The team has been awful for most of the year and they are hoping his return could help propel them into the playoff picture. They have a long way to go to enter that discussion, as they currently sit at 12-18 in the Western Conference.
The Mavericks have gotten a great season thus far out of O.J. Mayo and a Mayo-Nowitzki duo sounds and looks pretty good. Nowitzki will obviously have to pick up his end of the slack as he is only averaging seven points per game since returning last week. He obviously needs a little time to get going as he is arguably one of the greatest players of all time. What makes him so great is his ability to play inside and outside. Not often do you see seven-footers shoot 40% from three but he is one of the very few players capable of pulling off that feat. He has been a leader for the franchise ever since he entered the NBA. He is an absolute privilege to watch and just needs a little more time to get back into his usually groove.
Can the Mavericks make the playoffs? They certainly have a shot. They are only three games out of the eighth seed and need a winning streak to make that happen. The return of Nowtizki, coupled with the continued great play of Mayo has the team back to being a formidable opponent. They need guys like Darren Collison, Elton Brand, and Shawn Marion to play better for the team to have a realistic chance. There are still plenty more games to be played and the return of Nowtizki gives Dallas a star for the stretch run.
Rob Lunder covers the NBA for Rant Sports. For all NBA news go to the league homepage on Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @rlunder18