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Finding a silver lining for Dirk Nowitzki

As the Mavs slip in the standings with their star injured, his MVP candidacy rises

Updated: January 12, 2011, 12:51 AM ET
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- The past couple of weeks have been miserable for the Dallas Mavericks.

Dirk Nowitzki hasn't even been through a full practice since suffering a sprained right knee Dec. 27 in Oklahoma City. A bad situation turned a lot worse when Caron Butler suffered a season-ending knee injury five nights later.

Looking for a silver lining? Well, Nowitzki's MVP campaign has certainly added credibility during his absence.

With their perennial All-Star power forward in the lineup, ...

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