Dirk Nowitzki is no doctor, but he can take the Mavericks’ pulse as well as anybody.

He knows things are a little off-kilter. That’s what happens when you have the equivalent of a new pacemaker running your system. It takes time for the rhythm to resemble something normal.

The good news for Nowitzki is that while he gets used to Monta Ellis, Jose Calderon and Samuel Dalembert, the results through five games have fostered plenty of optimism for the face of the franchise.

When he rose up twice in Wednesday’s 107-93 loss at Oklahoma City and lofted high-arching 3-pointers that were dead-solid perfect, you could tell Nowitzki was doing well physically. His lift means his knees are feeling fine. And that’s leading to a gorgeous outside shot, not the flatter, often-short shot he seemed to rely on last season when he was returning from knee surgery.

“I feel good,” Nowitzki said. “Even for back-to-back [games], I felt fine, so that’s encouraging. We got another back-to-back coming up. I didn’t feel bad at all so far, definitely better than at any point last season. So I’m happy with that.”

As for the 3-2 record, not quite as much.

The Mavericks are bouncing along on a course they don’t want to take. Trading off home wins and road losses won’t get a team very far in the long haul.

They can’t blame Nowitzki, who’s hit 10 of 19 3-point tries. He realizes it’s a lot easier to get open looks with Ellis penetrating, forcing defenders to make choices on how they help when he gets into the paint.
It’s no surprise that Nowitzki’s shot has started to look more like it’s supposed to a week or so after Holger Geschwindner arrived from Germany for a little quality time with his star pupil. Nowitzki always seems to benefit from sessions with the coach he’s had for more than half his life.