ORLANDO, Fla. The NBA season is always a series of battles, filled with collateral damage in the form of player injuries.
This season is no different, especially with the lockout-shortened season forcing the league to play a condensed schedule.
"We knew that coming in that the schedule was a monster," said Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki. "It was everyone's fault. It was the player's fault. It was thee NBA's fault. We knew this was coming for two year and we didn't do anything about it, so now we have to deal with this shortened season and just play a lot of games."
Few teams will feel the sting of the lockout-shortened season coming out of the break like the defending NBA champion Mavericks.
"We've got nine games in 12 (days) coming out of the break, which is a ridiculous number of games," Nowitzki said. "But we've just got to deal with it and go from there. We've just got to fight through it. We knew coming in it was bad, but you've just got to deal with it."
With one of the older teams in the NBA, don't be surprised if the Mavs decide to sit some of their veterans. The San Antonio Spurs did that recently. Doing so won't be easy for the Mavs who have a number of players out with injuries which includes former Celtic Delonte West (broken finger).
"We're going to need every healthy body and get through this tough stretch," Nowitzki said.