DALLAS – Since Dirk Nowitzki is 38 years old, naturally everyone wants to know how the Dallas Mavericks’ superstar forward is feeling as he approaches his 19th season in the NBA.
"I feel better now than obviously I did a few weeks ago,’’ Nowitzki said after Monday’s practice. "Nothing really can prepare you for the grind, for the cutting, for the running, so no trip, no workout all summer long can prepare you for that.
"So it was a little stiff, it was a little sore at times obviously the first two weeks. I didn’t really move that well at times either, but I feel better now and I think it’s going to keep getting better as I get more games under my belt.’’
Nowitzki averaged 18.3 points last season when he was the oldest player in the league to lead his team in scoring. The Mavs are hoping he doesn’t have to carry a heavy workload this season.
"Dirk’s doing well,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said. "He’s working extremely hard.
"We all have a ways to go here."
Last year Nowitzki averaged 31.5 minutes per game, and that number, Carlisle hopes, will be closer to around 25 minutes this season. Either way, Nowitzki is well-rested and ready – again -- to point the Mavs in the right direction, starting with Wednesday’s season-opener in Indiana.
"It’s about getting to move again and getting to compete,’’ Nowitzki said. "And I’m looking forward to the start of the season.’’