Shootaround report: Dirk progresses to on-the-court drills; Mavs try to match Clippers' confidence
Earl K. Sneed reports from Los Angeles, where 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki progressed in his rehab to do on-the-court drills while his team focuses on the Clippers.
Shootaround report: Mavericks (8-9) at Clippers (11-6)
Dirk progresses to on-the-court drills; Mavs try to match Clippers' confidence
While he continues to near a return following his arthroscopic knee surgery on Oct. 19, Nowitzki joined the team on the road for the first time this season. And although he won’t be on the court when the Mavericks (8-9) begin their three-game road trip against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night, his presence will still be felt on the team’s sideline.
“It’s great to have him around the team. Absolutely. This is just part of the process. There’s no timetable or anything like that, so let’s not jump the gun,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said while tempering expectations.
Still, with No. 41 back around his teammates, the Mavs’ confidence level should heighten as the team tries to build off a 92-77 home win over Detroit on Saturday night to end a three-game losing streak. And with the Clippers (11-6) riding high after coming back from 14 points down in Utah, the coach acknowledges that his players will have to display plenty of confidence if they’re going to end L.A.’s three-game winning streak.
“Well, they’ve got multiple All-Stars on that team, so they’re very good to begin with and they have a winning aura about them these days. It really began when Chris Paul showed up,” Carlisle said of the Clippers. “And then, you know, [Chauncey] Billups is a big winner. The other guys around them — you get a guy like [Matt] Barnes who’s been involved with winning teams, [Lamar] Odom’s been on winning teams — and all that stuff makes them better.”
The Mavericks will try to match that winning pedigree Wednesday night while hoping to improve upon a 2-6 road record, as the team begins a stretch of six of the next seven games away from home.
Note: The Mavs embark on a three-game road trip beginning in Los Angeles on Wednesday night against Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the Clippers. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest and nationally on ESPN at 9:30 p.m. CT.