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 ESPNDallas.com.
“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.