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Thursday, December 20, 2012
Dirk Nowitzki: Only way I can go is up

By Tim MacMahon

DALLAS -- Don’t think Rodrigue Beaubois has an important role on the Mavericks? Think again.

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Beaubois was Dirk Nowitzki’s two-on-two teammate Wednesday, when the face of the franchise got some more full-speed, full-contact work after the Mavs’ relatively light day-between-games practice ended.

Beaubois and Nowitzki faced the rookie combo of Jae Crowder and Bernard James. While Mavs fans would love the sight of Nowitzki back on the floor after sitting out the last two months while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, this session apparently wasn’t much fun to watch.

“I think the quality of the game wasn’t that high,” Nowitzki said in his typical self-effacing fashion. “I was just chucking some shots to get a little rhythm and I was little tired from doing stuff out there, so the only way I can go is up.”

All things considered though, Nowitzki was pleased with his first day of full basketball work since mid-October.

“I thought I played decent,” Nowitzki said. “Obviously, my legs are pretty shot. For the first time running and shooting and jumping, so it’s going to take awhile for me to get back in halfway game shape. You can run in the pool and do some elliptical all you want, but it’s not like a 7-foot guy, 250, leaning on you, pushing around and you still got to make a move and jump and then concentrate to make a shot.

“So I think it’s going to take awhile to get in halfway decent shape. But for the first day, I think it felt pretty good.”