Saturday, February 2, 2008

Dirk's best year ever

ROCHESTER, Mich. – The last minute of Thursday’s loss at Boston wasn’t Dirk Nowitzki at his best. Far from it. In fact, he’s still steamed he couldn’t win that game.

Yes, Nowitzki said he should have won the game.

“I couldn’t really win the game in Boston,” Nowitzki said Saturday. “I had that rebound down the stretch that I should have secured, and I came right back down and missed a layup where I got bumped a little bit, but still I’ve got to make that layup.

“That’s the kind of pressure I always put on myself. I want to help the team win and if we don’t win, I take a lot of the blame on me, even though some nights it might not be my fault. Some nights it might be, but if we lose, I’m always going to be disappointed because I didn’t do my job.”

Celtics guard Rajon Rondo stole a rebound out of Nowitzki’s hands and scored the go-ahead basket in the Mavericks’ 96-90 loss. Nowitzki missed a chance to tie with the aforementioned layup, and the Celtics closed it out at the line.

Late-game mishaps haven’t been habit for Nowitzki this season. Far from it. Asked to size up the performance of his franchise player, Avery Johnson offered up an opinion that would appear surprising if based solely on stats.

“This is Dirk’s best year as a pro,” Johnson said after a brisk practice at Oakland University in suburban Detroit. Dallas faces the Central Division-leading on Pistons Sunday afternoon at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Read the rest of this story and get a look at the Pistons in today’s notebook at

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