Here’s what Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki said Friday at NBA All-Star weekend about the team’s season so far:

Question: When you look at the first part of the season, why has it been such a roller coaster, with five wins in a row, then five losses in a row?

Nowitzki:  Well, I think we just had to work and keep improving.  We had a new coach.  We tried to put a new system in that wasn’t really working the way we wanted.  We had stuff from both ends of the floor, offensively and defensively. I think once we got comfortable with that, we started to be a little more consistent. We didn’t lose that many games anymore.  It is all about a work in progress, getting all the players on the same page with the coach.  It has been better here the last two, three weeks.  We have beaten two, three teams.  In the Western Conference, it is so tight.  I think we are fifth or sixth now.  We are setting ourselves up for these last 30 games we got and hopefully make a great run at the playoffs. We were struggling and it was a little up and down, but the good thing is other teams were too.  If you look at New Orleans, lost some tough games.  Utah, Boozer has been out for a couple months.  They lost some games.  Phoenix is struggling. There are a lot of teams that are up and down a little bit. And I think that’s what helps us.  I still think we are in a great position to have a great playoff run.