Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 5/4/12
Slumped in his chair, microphone in hand, Dirk Nowitzki struggled to find the words to explain the 95-79 defeat the Dallas Mavericks had just suffered to the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 3 of their first round series. Sitting for about seven minutes in the press conference room at American Airlines Center, Nowitzki spoke about what went wrong during the prior couple of hours. And despite everything he had to say about the game, perhaps his most interesting quote -- which was also his last -- had nothing to do with one game. The question: What makes Oklahoma City a better team than they were last year? The answer lasted one minute, describing how point guard Russell Westbrook has become "stellar," how center Serge Ibaka has "took a step forward" and how the role players in Oklahoma City have done their jobs. And then Nowitzki, who finished with 17 points on 6-of-15 shooting, followed with: "I don't think we took a step forward as a team. We took a step back." That was it. It might not seem like much and it might be stating the obvious. But to hear the franchise's greatest player telling it like it is certainly speaks volumes. Two sentences that in a way, can be attributed to not re-signing free agents J.J. Barea, DeShawn Stevenson and 2012 Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler. Not to mention, a trade for Lamar Odom that arguably couldn't have gone any worse. Had those moves gone differently, perhaps the Mavericks wouldn't be in a 3-0 hole heading into Saturday's Game 4. Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Pacers accuse Lakers of tampering with Paul George

Report: Anquan Boldin abruptly tells Bills he's retiring

Todd Bowles blames O-line for Christian Hackenberg’s poor preseason outing

Justin Verlander implies baseballs are juiced

Blake Griffin: I could see LeBron going to NYC before LA

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ric Flair's daughter says WWE legend 'getting better'

NBA confirms Lakers under investigation for tampering

Report: Le'Veon Bell may return to Steelers by Labor Day

Report: Savage 'firmly in control' of Texans' starting QB job

Jaguars send message with latest unofficial depth chart?

Hackenberg gets Wikipedia treatment after brutal sack

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

Best of Yardbarker: NFL goes in on Ezekiel Elliott, NFLPA

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

The 'Bye bye to the Beast Incarnate?' quiz

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

Box Score 8/18: Reds and Cubs claw through a 23-run game

The 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Giancarlo Stanton won't stop hitting homers

NFL shifts blame for Zeke suspension to police and NFLPA

Box Score 8/17: Interleague games bring the fireworks

The 'Forget Calvin, bring back Jerry' quiz

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

The 'Bye bye to the Beast Incarnate?' quiz

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

The 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Giancarlo Stanton won't stop hitting homers

NFL shifts blame for Zeke suspension to police and NFLPA

The 'Forget Calvin, bring back Jerry' quiz

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Charles Oakley slams the phone — and his opponents — down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker