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Sunday, December 30, 2012
Dirk Nowitzki: 'The goal is still playoffs'

By Tim MacMahon

It’s been a long time since the Mavericks have been so far down in the standings this deep into a season.

It hasn’t happened since 1999-2000, which not coincidentally is the last time the Mavs didn’t make the playoffs.

At 12-18 and three and a half games out of eighth place in the West, it’s going to be tough for the Mavs to extend their playoff streak. According to John Hollinger’s statistical formula, the Mavs have a 1.6 percent chance of making the postseason.

“The goal is still playoffs,” Dirk Nowitzki said. “I don’t think that’s going to change. Hopefully when I get right here in a week or two, we’re going to keep competing and make a push at it. See what kind of January we put out there, then going into the All-Star break get a little momentum and hopefully make a great push afterwards.”

Nowitzki is well aware of how tough a task that will be. He considers the Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors and the slow-starting Los Angeles Lakers to be playoff locks.

“They’re basically booked,” Nowitzki said. “That leaves some guys like Denver and hopefully us. Some other teams are going to scrap for the last couple spots. Hopefully we can make a run for those last spots.”