The Mavericks will begin the process of developing their newest two-man game when practices start Tuesday.

Project No. 1 is making sure Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis play well together.

No. 2 is making sure they both get good looks at the basket which usually isn’t a problem for Nowitzki.

For Ellis it could help perk up a shooting average that dipped to 41.6 percent last season at Milwaukee.

“We mess around in the pick-up games and he’s so fast off the dribble” Nowitzki said Monday. “He’s got to be one of the fastest guys in the league off the dribble. He should really be able to get in there with me setting some picks and the way they have to play me on pick-and-rolls he should be able to walk in there really make the defense collapse and make things happen. I really thing offensively we’ll be fine.”

Ellis makes no excuses for last season’s subpar shooting. But he also has the right frame of mind starting out in a new situation – and being able to play next to a superstar like Nowitzki for the first time in his career.

He knows he has taken some ill-advised shots in the past. But as Nowitzki said the 6-3 Ellis figures to get better looks this year than he’s ever gotten.

“I’m going to get criticized for what I do” Ellis said. “The only thing I can do is laugh it off. There’s a lot of guys that take a lot of bad shots in this league. But nobody wants to talk about that. Everybody wants to talk about the shots Monta takes. All I’m going to do is take the punches and prove everybody wrong.

“What I’m saying is I’m going to play Monta basketball and if y’all want to criticize criticize.”