NBA: Dallas Mavericks Lose Dirk Nowitzki

John LewisSenior Writer IMarch 24, 2008

As the Dallas Mavericks went down again on Sunday, so did all-star forward Dirk Nowitzki.

The 6-11 star hit the ground hard and his knee twisted underneath him.  An MRI was immediately taken and came back negative, but Nowitzki is still expected to be out two weeks.

With this injury and third loss in a row, can head coach Avery Johnson save his job?  Last year the Mavs were bounced out in the first round of the playoffs after being the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. This year came with high expectations, but Dallas is slumping and sitting at the seventh spot in the standings.

The trade for Jason Kidd was supposed to wake up their sleeping offense, but the Mavs are now 0-8 against teams with winning records since the trade.  But now without Nowitzki, they not only lose their best player, they now have to figure out how to come up with 23 points and eight rebounds a game.

Some reports have stated that Jason Kidd's bad play has been because of clashing with the head man, Johnson.  Couple that with owner Mark Cuban's attitude toward winning now, and Avery Johnson will have to do a lot of convincing for his job this off season if the Mavs flame out again in the playoffs.

To top it all off, Dallas has to play five playoff teams in the next two weeks.  With only two games separating the seventh seeded Mavs and the ninth seeded Denver Nuggets, Dallas is in danger of not making the playoffs with another losing streak.

Jason Kidd better step up and lead this team—they need it.