While the losses keep piling up by the game, forward Dirk Nowitzki understands why the Dallas Mavericks have recently given more minutes to their younger players.

Entering Tuesday’s 7:30 p.m. contest at American Airlines Center against the Denver Nuggets, the Mavericks are 32-48 overall, 1-8 in their past nine games and 1-4 since they were eliminated from playoff contention. The recent losses can mainly be attributed to the Mavericks’ decision to rest their veteran players in favor of developing their younger players.

In other words, the Mavericks have turned their attention to next season.

Putting the better players on the bench and playing the inexperienced ones have helped lead to the recent losses and also helped them improve their standing in the NBA Draft Lottery on May 16.

“We never gave up, we always wanted to make the playoffs,’’ Nowitzki said. “We fought for it and obviously once that train was gone it’s time for the younger guys to get some experience, get better, work on their game and get some playing time under their belt.

“That’s what we’ve been doing lately, and I think we’ve seen some nice improvements, we’ve seen some good halves, good quarters.”

Rookies Yogi Ferrell, Dorian Finney-Smith, Nicolas Brussino, Jarrod Uthoff and A.J. Hammons have been receiving most of the heavy minutes lately, including during Sunday’s 124-111 loss in Phoenix. The Mavericks are giving them the opportunity to play through their mistakes.