Dallas MavericksDownload App

Mavs vs. Lakers: Dallas Must Prove They Can Win Without Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks
Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas MavericksRonald Martinez/Getty Images
Sophia PompilusContributor IIIOctober 30, 2012

The Dallas Mavericks have their work cut out for them this season. As usual, they'll be facing some of their toughest opponents in the Western Conference, and tonight is no different. Facing the new-look Los Angeles Lakers, the Mavericks will need to prove themselves as they'll be playing without their star forward Dirk Nowitzki

Nowitzki has been dealing with an injured knee since last season. Though he battled it out and made it through the season, this year is different. He's already had his knee drained twice and after defiantly stating he didn't want surgery to correct his knee issues, he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on October 20. He will miss six weeks and 13 games.

Nowitzki is no doubt the Mavs No. 1 offensive threat. In four games against the Lakers last season, he scored 24 points in addition to grabbing 10.8 boards. With him on the sidelines for tonight's season opener, the Mavs need their other players to step up.

The Mavs were also dealt another blow to their starting lineup by losing center Chris Kaman to a strained right calf, but head coach Rick Carlisle is confident in his team. In regards to piling injuries, he expressed that "this is what it’s about, the teaching and communication and scrambling with health issues."

And he is right. The Mavs have new pieces who can make it work. OJ Mayo wasn't his best with the Grizzlies, but he's shown promise throughout the preseason. When he's on his game, he can definitely give the Mavs easy points. In his past three preseason games, Mayo scored an average of 11.6 points a game.

They also have Darren Collison at the point, and although he'll be matched up against one of the all-time greats, Steve Nash, youth is on Collison's side. Nash is 38 and will not be able to keep up with the speedy youngster all night long.

Most importantly, the Lakers' injuries give the Mavs the best chance to win tonight. Kobe Bryant has a strained and bruised right foot that has kept him out of the lineup for seven straight days. He is a game-time decision for tonight's matchup, but regardless of whether or not he starts, expect his injury to impact his play.  

Dwight Howard is also still nursing a back injury and Metta World Peace is recovering from a dislocated finger injury.

With three key Laker starters injured, the Mavs still have a chance to win without Nowitzki.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices