Dirk Nowitzki’s training and conditioning were all screwed up by the lockout last year. Understandably, after finally accomplishing the dream of winning the title, Nowitzki, along with the rest of the Mavs, enjoyed their offseason. The uncertainty of the lockout lead to a lack of training and so when the season started, Nowitzki was not prepped for the season, hadn’t gone through his usual routines.
Throw in a knee problem, and you had all the issues last year. He had a mid-season boot camp to try and get right physically, but it never really got back on track. With a normal offseason, though, Nowitzki says that physically, he’s in position to get back to being Dirk.
Second, and more important, Nowitzki feels wonderful physically. His right knee that gave him such trouble during the first half of the shortened season in 2011-12 no longer is a concern to him.
“I tried to keep in shape all summer long so that it would not be hard to pick up my usual training routine,” Nowitzki said in an email interview. “I feel great. My knees feel fine, and that’s important. I am ready to go.”
That’s great news for Mavericks fans. With a younger roster that will need time to gel, and players who have uncertainties about how they will react in new roles, the team will rely on Nowitzki as much if not more than ever. But most importantly, it looks like we’ll get the real Dirk Nowitzki back, and that’s a win for everyone, except whoever he’s playing that night.