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Dirk Nowitzki says he doesn’t think Mavs are a playoff team after losing to Clippers

Jan 4, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT

Dirk Nowitzki AP

Chris Paul left midway through the third quarter of the Clippers’ contest in Dallas on Friday, and didn’t return after suffering a shoulder injury that’s expected to sideline him for three-five weeks.

That didn’t prevent his team from winning, however, as L.A. erased a seven-point deficit with 4:06 to play by finishing the game on a 16-2 run to send the Mavericks to another devastating loss.

Dallas has had a habit of blowing big leads this season, and it’s beginning to wear on Dirk Nowizki, who said afterward he doubts his team’s chances of making the playoffs the way they keep letting these wins escape.

From Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas:

“It’s a game we can’t lose,” Nowitzki said. “Can’t afford to lose that one.”

Nowitzki has had similar takes after a few other losses this season. The Mavs have blown leads of 17 to the Atlanta Hawks, 18 to the Golden State Warriors and 19 to the Toronto Raptors in losses. With the exception of the Atlanta loss, all of those happened at the American Airlines Center.  …

“The way we let those games slip away, I don’t think we’re a playoff team,” Nowitzki said. “We’ve got to win those games. We’ve got to find a way to get those stops and protect the home court.”

Dallas is currently in the playoff picture, the West’s eighth and final team that would make the postseason based on today’s standings.

The Mavericks figure to be challenged by the Timberwolves and possibly the Pelicans for that playoff spot before the season is through, however, and Nowitzki’s assessment of things is likely correct if the Mavericks can’t begin to find ways to close games out.

  1. sportsfan18 - Jan 4, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    It’s a shame that Cuban and the Mavs have wasted and are wasting the last part of Nowitzki’s career.

    Since their 2011 championship, it’s not been good.

    While Dirk is NOT in the very top tier of players all time, he is better than most people realize.

    Dirk is currently in 16th place on the all time scoring list. He should be in 15th after this season is over and by the end of next season he should be around 8th or 9th place or so. Then, if he plays another season, he should be nearing 7th place on the all time scoring list.

    The odds are that he’ll be up in the top ten on the all time scoring list when he retires and most likely closer to 5th place than 10th place.

    Dirk is currently in 19th place ALL TIME on the NBA PER list. Kobe is in 20th place right now.

    Dirk is currently in 45th place All time on the NBA true shooting percentage list (well ahead of MJ, Bird, Kobe, he’s ahead of LeBron for now, ahead of Chris Paul, ahead of Ray Allen etc…)

    Dirk, as a 7 footer, is currently in 13th place all time on the all time nba Free Throw percentage list.

    A league MVP, a title, a finals MVP

    11 time all star

    4 time all 1st team
    5 time all 2nd team
    3 time all 3rd team

    Again, he is NOT in the top tier like MJ.

    All I’m saying is that he is better than most people actually realize. I mean when one retires well up in the top 10 in scoring, has a career PER around 25th (he’s 19th now but as he ages I suspect it will drop), well that’s a good career when it includes a title and an MVP too plus many other accolades.

    • floridabred - Jan 5, 2014 at 2:30 AM

      As a Spurs fan I can attest to the fact that Dirk can flat out cut your heart out…shame that the Mavs have not taken advantage of his skills and desire.

  2. kingtotz - Jan 5, 2014 at 1:49 AM

    First Ballot Hall of Famer!

  3. 24thesho - Jan 5, 2014 at 7:48 AM

    If Mark Cuban really loved basketball the way he seemed to have displayed, the Mavs would have won (possibly) 1 or 2 more championships while Dirk was there, or at least really be in the hunt. Cuban’s a fake and a fool.

    • man0warr - Jan 5, 2014 at 12:08 PM

      They should have in 2006 – but they got cheated by the Refs game fixing by allowing Wade a record # of free throws in a playoff series.

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