With the Dallas Mavericks off to a so-so start at 9-7 and Dirk Nowitzki struggling to find his rhythm early this season, coach Rick Carlisle has made the dramatic move of giving his superstar scorer the week off, according to Mavs play-by-play announcer Mark Followill.
The Mavericks won five straight games last week but opened their current West road swing by losing two of their last three. The Mavs take on the Hornets tonight before returning home to face Phoenix, Minnesota and Utah -- Nowitzki will miss all four games.
The reigning NBA Finals MVP is averaging career lows this season witb 17.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
Lamar Odom is expected to pick up the bulk of the minutes at power forward in Nowitzki's absence.