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Help has arrived, but Dirk needs to be aggressive

DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks responded to Dirk Nowitzki's plea for help on the offensive end. Seven Mavs have scored in double figures during the Mavs' two wins since he expressed his frustration.

That's a recipe for success, but there's a fine line between a balanced offense and not enough Dirk. He averaged only 16.5 points in the two wins, down almost double figures from his season average.

Rick Carlisle has a simple solution to a complicated problem.

"Jason Kidd figures it out," Carlisle said.

Kidd wants to keep everybody involved and said he'll get the ball to whoever is open. However, he recognizes that the MVP candidate ought to get the most touches. How do you get the most out of Dirk and make sure he's getting enough help?

"That's the beauty, and sometimes the challenge," Kidd said. "We've got so many guys who can put the ball in the basket and who want the ball. That's a good thing.

"I think that for Dirk, we can play off of Dirk where he doesn't feel that he has to take every shot, where he can be a playmaker or if a shot presents itself, he can knock it down. He loves that stage of having the ball in the fourth quarter, but with so many guys who can score, I think it takes a lot of pressure off of Dirk."

Carlisle says there is no way the Mavs can script the offense. Ideally, their defense will allow them to get in transition a lot, either on fast breaks or "flow" halfcourt offense when the opponent is still trying to get its defense set.

When the Mavs are forced to run halfcourt sets, they can't just dump it to Dirk and watch him work on a regular basis.

"If we hold the ball and try to play one-on-one basketball, we’re not a very good team," Jason Terry said. "We’ve still got the talent and we’ve got one of the world’s best players in Dirk that can do that, but it doesn’t help us as a team. We need ball movement and everybody is happy when that happens."

They also need an aggressive Dirk. He hasn't attempted a free throw in the last two games.

The rest of the Mavs recognize the need to chip in, but their production shouldn't come at the expense of the team's best player. It's up to Dirk to assert himself.