How Well Can Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman Work Together Once Healthy?

Ross Bentley@@imrossbentleySenior Analyst INovember 15, 2012

LOS ANGELES - APRIL 10:   Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks drives against Chris Kaman #35 of the Los Angeles Clippers on April 10, 2006 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

After their win tonight against the lowly Washington Wizards, the Dallas Mavericks now sit at 5-4 after their first nine games of the 2012-2013 season. 

Dallas has managed to win more than they've lost so far this year despite not playing with their superstar Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki is still out after having surgery on his right knee.

Nowitzki is an 11-time All-Star, and the team will need him back in the lineup and healthy if they are going to make a dent in the deep Western Conference.

For the rest of this year, the team will also be relying on offseason pickup Chris Kaman, who has been battling injuries as well so far this season.

In tonight's win, Kaman pitched in with 23 points and eight rebounds, both season highs for the former All-Star who missed the first two games of the regular season.

Kaman also made his second start of the year and played 32 minutes. The seven-footer is second on the team in scoring this season at 14.3 PPG, only behind O.J. Mayo.

Mavericks fans have been excited about the possible pairing of Kaman and Nowitzki together since Kaman signed with the Mavericks in the summer.

The two played together in the past on the German national team and have the capability of being one of the best one-two punches inside when given the chance to play together at 100 percent.

But just how good can Kaman and Nowitzki be together? 

If Kaman can continue to produce like he has this year (and even increase his workload), he has an outside chance of making his second All-Star team.  

Kaman has always been an underrated center who can score in the paint when given the proper amount of touches. During his time with the Clippers, Kaman averaged double figures every year since 2005. He is one of only three centers, along with Chris Bosh and Dwight Howard, who can make that claim.

In the 2008-2009 season, Kaman averaged a career-best 18.5 points per game. He has also averaged double figures in rebounding in his career.

Although he often gets left out of the conversation, Kaman is easily within the upper echelon of centers in today's NBA game. 

Nowitzki's credentials speak for themselves, as he is 19th on the NBA's all-time scoring list and is without question the greatest Dallas Maverick of all time.

Two years ago, Nowitzki led the Mavericks to an NBA championship, and as recently as last season, he made the All-NBA third team.

If and when both men are able to play alongside each other for Dallas, they can be a dynamic combination on the offensive end. 

When looking at the power forward-center combinations out West, few teams would be able to match the pedigree of a healthy Nowitzki-Kaman duo.

Memphis, Minnesota, Oklahoma City, Phoenix and the Clippers are all worth mentioning and have above-average frontcourts.

Still, none of those duo's can really claim to be more productive than a Nowitzki-Kaman tandem. The only team in the Western Conference who can legitimately claim to have a more dynamic frontcourt is the Lakers with the combination of Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol.

Some may be questioning if the Mavericks will be able to have enough chemistry for both big men to maintain their high averages. However, considering the fact that Nowitzki and Kaman played together in the past, they should be able to thrive off one another.

Neither player has a big ego, and both of them want to win championships while they are still playing at a high level in the NBA.

Mavericks fans may need to wait a few more weeks for Nowitzki to come back, but when he does, they will finally be able to see the much-anticipated Kaman-Nowitzki frontcourt team together for the first time.

If both men are healthy and play to their capabilities, it could end up being something special this year in Big D.