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Nowitzki backs Bogut to star in Dallas

AAP logoAAP 20/09/2016

Dallas superstar Dirk Nowitzki believes Australian Andrew Bogut's championship experience will make the Mavericks genuine NBA title contenders again in 2016-17.

The Mavericks last won the championship in 2011, but were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs in the past two years after a brief absence from the post-season.

But the off-season merry-go-round, which had Kevin Durant head to Golden State, led 2015 champions Bogut and Harrison Barnes to Dallas.

And Nowitzki believes it gives the franchise the experience it needs.

"They're champions, they're great players, they're a part of a championship team, so they know how to play and they know how to win," he said.

Bogut, 31, is entering the twilight of his career but will likely take on a more prominent role at the Mavericks.

While the Australian started in 66 of the 70 matches he played at the Warriors, his point-scoring dropped to 5.4 per match last year in a team that was dominated by Steph Curry's offence.

However Nowitzki, entering his 18th NBA season, still believes the centre can be a key player for the Mavericks.

"I think Bogut will be a great player for us," he said.

"He's a smart player. He can defend, obviously, and defend the rim.

"He's a great passer, and probably one of the best passing big men there is in this league, so it should be fun playing with him."

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