Dirk Nowitzki: Was supposed to be down year

Mavericks PF Dirk Nowitzki shares his thoughts on the Metta World Peace elbow, how the NBA schedule and the Lamar Odom saga affected the team, potential playoff matchups and much more.

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On how he felt about the team entering the season:

"Yeah, it was supposed to be a down year but I think I got to give our management credit the way they brought Lamar in, a bunch of other guys with experience ... so they still put us in a position where we still had a good team and we could still compete."

Dealing with a truncated NBA schedule:

Well, I mean it was tough. I mentioned it a bunch of times and it always sounded like I was whining but for an older team it was tough to get going with basically a couple days notice, and camp was only two weeks and usually we have a good month to prepare so it was tough to start the season off like that and so that’s why I think we started off extremely slow and then we hit the stride a little bit, got better with the new teammates ... They started to play well and get the grasp of what we were trying to do and then we had some injury problems. Then I had to sit with my knee stuff for a week and then [Jason Kidd] had some problems; was out twice for like a week or ten days ... I thought Delonte played phenomenal and then he missed five weeks so I think if we would have played injury free we would maybe be in the top four cause the games are so close together, but that’s not how it worked so unfortunately we got to start on the road and we’ll see what we can do but from that stand point it’s been a tough year.

His thoughts on the Metta World Peace elbow:

I just saw the footage. I didn’t see the game cause it was beautiful out, but I did see what happened and it was just an unfortunate play. I think those kind of plays have nothing to do with basketball. We all know we compete at the highest level and the game can get emotional and like he was for sure after that dunk ... But I don’t think a play like that belongs in our sport.