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NBA Dallas Mavericks

5 Things Dirk Nowitzki Must do for the Dallas Mavericks

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Dirk Nowitzki Must Improve with these 5 Things for Dallas to Make Playoffs

Jerome Miron-US Presswire

In 2011, Dirk Nowitzki showed the rest of the world that he is a superstar. Everyone in Dallas already knew this, because Nowitzki had been playing at an elite level for the Dallas Mavericks for over a decade. It was in 2011 that he put a franchise on his shoulders and did what everyone thought was impossible. Nobody thought Dirk could win a championship unless he got another superstar to help him. Dirk was determined to prove everyone wrong, and in June of 2011, he did just that.

In October of last year, however, Nowitzki had arthroscopic surgery on his knee. It was an injury that wasn't expected to sideline the All-Star for very long. However, the weeks turned into months and the Mavericks suffered from his absence.

After missing the first 23 games of the season, Dirk played in his first game on Dec. 23. Coach Rick Carlisle limited his minutes at first, but the Mavericks needed Nowitzki if the playoffs were going to be a realistic goal this year.

With the playoffs right around the corner and Dirk fully recovered from his knee surgery, the Mavericks need him to step up and take on a few familiar roles — roles that allowed Dirk to hold up the championship trophy less than two years ago. Here are the five things Dirk needs to do for the Mavericks to make the playoffs and hopefully return to championship glory.

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Where You Lead, I Will Follow

Matthew Emmons-US Presswire

Although he has never been known as a vocal leader, Nowitzki has to step up and be the leader this team desperately needs. Actions speak louder than words.

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Let's Get Physical

Matthew Emmons-US Presswire

Nowitzki has to be more physical. The Mavericks are known as a soft team and have had this label for a long time. It's time for the label to be changed, and it must start with the leader.

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It's Time to Rebound

Jerome Miron-US Presswire

Averaging just under seven rebounds a game seems like a good number. However, when you're seven feet tall, it's a very small number. He needs to start consistently pulling down double-digit rebounds for the Mavericks.

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Bring Back the Championship Form

Soobum Im-US Presswire

The Mavericks need Nowitzki to return to his championship form. He needs to be the player that can and will lead the team in scoring most nights. The bench players should compliment Nowitzki's play, not carry the team.

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Shave the Beard

Tim Fuller-US Presswire

Finally, he needs to shave the beard. In order for this to happen, the Mavericks need to make it back to .500. The entire team vowed that they would not shave until the team reached this mark. If Dallas wants to make the playoffs, this is where it starts. Get the razors ready, please.