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Dirk Nowitzki says he is in shape, nobody scares him in West

Jan 27, 2012, 1:15 PM EDT

Dirk Nowitzki AP

Dallas is off to a slow start in its title defense, hasn’t looked the part of a contender and has looked old. Especially Dirk Nowitzki.

Dirk has taken to the offensive on those that question him and his team. He thinks they’ll be just fine.

Nowitzki — who has been sitting out the last four games because of a sore knee and because his coach and owner said he needed to work on his “conditioning” — first fired back at the idea he is out of shape. From the Star Telegram.

“No, I don’t know why coach threw that out there,” Nowitzki bristled when asked about his conditioning. “I didn’t have any problem with conditioning at all. You can never work hard enough on conditioning, but that wasn’t holding me back.”

If it wasn’t conditioning, then it was the knee everybody kept trying to downplay as not that big a deal. One or the other, folks.

Dallas is 11-8 now (current sixth seed in a very tight West) and it’s a good bounce back from a 1-4 start. The Mavericks are feeling good. Dirk is feeling really good about their chances, he told

“I haven’t seen one team in the West that I’m scared of,” Nowitzki said. “I really haven’t. I think we can compete with all of them.

“Oklahoma City has probably the best record, but I think we’ve played them well every time we’ve seen them and everybody else has been up and down.”

Like last year, Dallas is going to need almost everything to go right to get deep into the playoffs. They are not better than Oklahoma City at its best. And in the end, they still may miss Tyson Chandler and his defense. But if you are the defending champion, you shouldn’t be afraid of anyone. I get that.

  1. claymatthewsisonsteroids - Jan 27, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Except for the Twolves who have swept you so far this year.

    • entropy13 - Jan 28, 2012 at 1:04 AM

      Wait, aren’t regular season matchups supposed to be irrelevant in the playoffs?

      When we swept the Heat last season, it was irrelevant and we don’t have a chance against them at all.

      When we went 1-2 during the matchup with the Lakers last season, the 1 win we had was irrelevant and we would be swept (several “analysts” saw it as Lakers in 4).

      We were 1-3 against the Nuggets but we weren’t the ones that lost 4-1 to OKC.

      And please, if you’re going to mention the T’Wolves, at least mention them when they’re actually in the top 8.

      And since you’ve brought up “being swept” in the regular season, the Bucks won both games against us last season too, proof that they were a playoff team, even in a relatively weak East. Oh wait.

  2. denverhoopdreams - Jan 27, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Denver’s depth would eat Dallas alive in a 7 game series.

  3. denverhoopdreams - Jan 27, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Looks like 2 Dallas fans came into this post.

  4. philiplewis1 - Jan 27, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    All you have to do is look at the struggles the Heat have had this year trying to pull it together and you know Nowitzki has a good point, and Miami has been together now for a year. The losses the Mavericks had plus the new key players they obtained could do nothing other than create a slow start. Even then they’re well above .500 and would be in the playoffs if they started today. They will only get better as they go. They’ve even won 3 of the 4 games without Nowitzki. He’s right. They will have to be dealt with in the playoffs. OKC is their biggest challenger. Is there a better player anywhere than Kevin Durant?

  5. 00maltliquor - Jan 27, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Oh yeah Dirk, there are 7 other teams that say you should be. And 3 other teams nipping at your heels that are even better then their record indicates. This the wild, wild West, Dirky, you better have at least 2 pistols on you at all times!

    • entropy13 - Jan 28, 2012 at 1:09 AM

      Why are people reacting as if this was the first time ever that the Mavs are in this situation?

      We only won once each in all our meetings with the Nuggets, the Spurs and the Grizzlies, during the regular season last year. Now tell me, which of those three teams reached the Western Conference Final, much less the NBA Final?

      • 00maltliquor - Jan 28, 2012 at 3:35 AM

        Yeah, they won the championship last year. Good for them, it was a nice little story. They also have a history of not getting out the 1st round and getting ousted by 8th seeds.

      • entropy13 - Jan 29, 2012 at 2:53 AM

        @00maltliquor: “They also have a history of not getting out the 1st round”

        Since 03-04: Dallas only had a “history of not getting out the 1st round” three times.

        And apparently that makes Dallas way different from other teams like Denver (lost in the first round ever since 03-04 – seven times), Portland (three times), New Orleans (three times), Houston (four times), Memphis (three times)?

        “and getting ousted by 8th seeds.”

        Which only happened once, and which also happened once last year to the Spurs. So I guess getting ousted once suddenly becomes a “history of getting ousted by 8th seeds”? Since when did one team (GSW) doing it once suddenly become plural?

  6. entropy13 - Jan 28, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    “And in the end, they still may miss Tyson Chandler and his defense.”

    2010-2011 Def Rtg: 105.0 (8th of 30)
    2011-2012 Def Rtg: 97.1 (3rd of 30)

    105 is better than 97.1, apparently.

  7. danladi1 - Jan 28, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    00maltliquor how little you watch the MAVS. THE MAVS have been to 11 straight playoff apperrances, of those 11 do you know how many times we left in the 1st round, 4, FOUR, QUATRO, 3 times we made it to the western conference final, and twice to the NBA Finals. Also I am tired of people getting onto the Mavs for loosing in the 1st round in 07. We won 2 games of that 1st round series. Did you guys know that the Defending champs that year in 07 were the Miami Heat. Wanna know what happened to them. THEY GOT SWEPT. IN THE 1ST ROUND. Dallas lost in the 1st round too, but AT LEAST WE WON 2 GAMES BEFORE OUR F’N EXIT.

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