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Dallas Mavericks News: Dirk Nowitzki Rehab Not Going Well -- Should They Tank Season?

By Staff Reporter - Posted: 11/13/12 12:12PM EST
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (R) controls the ball

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (R) controls the ball as he is defended by Charlotte Bobcats forward Tyrus Thomas during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Dallas, Texas March 15, 2012. (Photo: REUTERS)

Dallas Mavericks have been playing better than anyone expected despite missing Dirk Nowitzki, but still, bad news coming out of Big D: Dirk will be out longer than the initial six weeks prediction, because his recovery from arthroscopic knee surgery is not going as well as anticipated.

Nowitzki underwent surgery on his right knee Oct. 19, an operation that typically has a recovery timetable of three to six weeks. The Mavs were originally hoping that the 11-time All-Star would be back around that same time frame, but Nowitzki said during the Mavs' television broadcast Monday night that he still isn't certain when he'll be ready to resume basketball activities.

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"When it originally hurt, three to six weeks, in my mind, I'm thinking in two weeks, I'm back," said Nowitzki to, who has returned quickly from several ankle sprains during his 14-year career. "But unfortunately, this is not how it happens. It's my first knee surgery of my career and unfortunately this stuff takes a little longer than we expected.

Should Dallas just tank the season? Conventional wisdom says that it's best to either be at the top or the bottom of the NBA. And with Dirk out this long, they won't be at the top, but they're winning enough games right now where they may still make the playoffs -- as a bottom seed. And really, what's the point in that? Just to be feasted on by the Oklahoma City Thunder?

The San Antonio Spurs famously tanked when their own superstar, David Robinson, suffered an injury early in the 1995-1996 season. They tanked, got the #1 pick, and then drafted Tim Duncan. The Cavaliers, after losing LeBron James, got rid of all talent on their team, bottomed out, and then netted Kyrie Irving the year after. 

Perhaps this is the route Dallas should go. 

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