Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Don't Sleep On Dirk Nowitzki

Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

17.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 47.1 % shooting, a 41-41 record, and 35 years old.

Many proclaimed the Big German done, that he can no longer carry a team, and that the 11-time All-Star will never be up there with the best against.

Many believed that Father Time has taken another super-star from us.

21.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, looking for his second 50-40-90 (49.2-41.2-91.0) season, currently 32-22 (6th) in the tough west and NOW a 12-time All-Star, Dirk Nowitzki is still one of the NBA’s best.

As the Dallas Mavericks continue to fail to find the player that Dirk will pass the torch to, Dirk continue to be the player he’s always been.

As flawed as the Dallas Mavericks have been throughout his career, Nowitzki has always been able make them a contender.

Whether it was Steve Nash/Michael Finley, Devin Harris/Josh Howard, Jason Kidd/Jason Terry, Dirk always delivered.

With the new tandem of Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis, did we really expect that to change?

It’s easy to overlook the play of Nowitzki due to seasons that Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, and LaMarcus Aldridge are having, but you’re doing Nowitzki and yourself an injustice if you believe he isn’t up to par with his fellow power forwards.

Per 36 Minutes

Per 36 Minutes

As you can see, Per 36-minutes, Dirk is still scoring with the best of them. He’s also shooting a higher fg% than two of the three (Griffin highest at 53.9%), commits the fewest turnovers, and shoots the highest 3-pt and free throw percentage. Nowitzki’s rebounding numbers are no where close to the rest of this group, which isn’t exactly a surprise.

Many looked at last season’s failure as a sign of a declining Nowitzki.

How many other player’s would be able to miss 29 games, have their second best player be O.J. Mayo, come off of knee surgery, and still win 41 games? As much as last season was deemed a failure, it actually gave Mavs fans hope of what to expect this year.

A healthy Nowitzki putting up great numbers shouldn’t be a surprise as also should a healthy Nowitzki leading his team to wins not come to a shock.

As the season progresses, Nowitzki has continued to improve.

In his last 10 games he’s averaging 24.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, and shooting 55%.

As last season’s All-Star break turned the corner for an injured Nowitzki and Mavs, expect the same this season.

Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

With the West as competitive as it is, Nowitzki will do what he does best.

Carrying the Mavericks into the playoffs.

As we’ve seen before, if the Mavericks get into the playoffs, anything can happen with Nowitzki on the floor.

Even if you believe he is on his last leg, what do you expect from a player who lives off one one-legged fade-aways?

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Tags: Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzk

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