surprised if Nowitzki had surgery. His colleague, Kevin Sherrington, suggested it wouldn’t be a bad idea if Nowitzki sat out an extended period.
The 2011 NBA Finals MVP, Nowitzki is the best European player and perhaps the best shooting big man in league history. He remains the foundation of the franchise, which continues to try and build around him before his skills erode with age.
The Mavericks broke up their championship squad to maintain future financial flexibility and were swept out of the first round of the playoffs last season. They revamped their roster again this offseason, adding veterans Elton Brand, Chris Kaman, O.J. Mayo and Darren Collison. All but Mayo signed one-year deals.
Meanwhile, Western Conference power forwards are dropping like flies and possibly changing the playoff picture. Nowitzki’s surgery comes just two days after Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love broke his hand doing knuckle push-ups, costing him six to eight weeks.
Both Dallas and Minnesota were targeting postseason berths, likely toward the bottom of the loaded West’s eight-team field. With both teams missing their best players for extended stretches, windows may have opened for teams such as Golden State, Phoenix and Portland.
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