When it was announced that Dirk Nowitzki would miss the first several weeks of the NBA season after undergoing knee surgery, many wondered if Dallas would even be able to keep their heads above water by the time he returned to the lineup.
The Mavericks haven't missed a beat with their superstar out of the lineup.
The Mavericks are 4-1 in their first five games of the season, including victories over the Lakers, Bobcats, Trail Blazers and Raptors. They are also averaging an astonishing 108.3 ppg, good for second in the NBA.
If Dallas is going to continue to thrive without Nowitzki, they will need to continue to succeed in some areas and make tweaks in others.
By the time Nowitzki gets back, the Mavericks could find themselves near the top of the standings, and a serious threat out of the West, if they do the following things well.