Before a large crowd in Barcelona, Spain, the Dallas Mavericks dropped a see-saw battle to FC Barcelona Regal as Dirk Nowtizki sat out the game with soreness and swelling in his knee. Although trailing by only two at the half, the Mavericks fell behind by as many as eighteen points before making a run and cutting the deficit to as few as six in the fourth quarter. They couldn’t hold on, however, eventually falling 99-85.
The Mavericks again got solid contributions from newcomers Chris Kaman (15 points and 9 rebounds) and Darren Collison (14 points) but could not keep up with five Barcelona players in double figures including former Maverick Nathan Jawai.
A loss is never a good thing but the greater problem remains the injury situation, most notably Dirk, who started last year with similar knee problems but worked through them to play at his usual MVP level the remainder of the season. Having done considerable conditioning this summer that he neglected in 2011, the recurrence offers significant cause for concern.
Brandan Wright played for the first time this season and accumulated a very respectable four points and six rebounds in just seventeen minutes but said after the game he wasn’t close to full strength—which, in context, doesn’t sound like such a bad thing. Roddy Beaubois remains out with a sprained ankle.
The Mavericks return home to continue pre-season action against the Houston Rockets on October 15th.
We’ll have a more complete game analysis coming up on The Smoking Cuban….