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Southwest Notes: Kaman, Barea, Rockets, Hornets

Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki doesn't feel his performance this season warrants a selection to the 2012 NBA All-Star Game in Orlando. Nowitzki, 33, is averaging 17.2 PPG and 6 RPG for a Dallas squad that is underachieving with a 14-11 record this season. If tapped to represent the Western Conference, Nowitzki would be making his 11th consecutive All-Star appearance. Let's take a look around the league to see what else is happening in the Southwest Division:

  • Chris Kaman was completely understanding when the Hornets shut him down last month in an attempt to find a trade suitor, writes Jimmy Smith of The Times-Picayune. Kaman, 29, returned to the team on Sunday morning for practice as the Hornets conceded that they were unable to finalize a deal.
  • Life after winning a championship with the Mavericks in June has not been easy for Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea. According to The Dallas Morning News, Barea, 27, blames his low FG% (.367) and 2.4 APG on a series of hamstring injuries that has led to the sixth-year player missing 15 games this season.
  • Rockets beat writer Jonathan Feigen suggests the team is comfortable pursuing a championship with superstar-less squad similar to the Nuggets. While a star-free locker room may do wonders for team chemistry, the Rockets should take note that only two teams have ever won a championship without an All-NBA player.
  • While the Hornets have struggled this season with the worst record in the Western Conference (4-20), Sam Amico of points to three bright spots for the league-owned franchise moving forward. 

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