Dirk Nowitzki: The Winning Soldier


So if you don’t follow me on Twitter or are not one of my three personal life text friends excluding family, you are unaware that I went to the United States premiere of the latest Super Hero flick, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I’m passionate about two things in life more than anything else, and that is sports and super heroes…or super villains, the whole cornucopia of comics. If you’ve read my writing (If you haven’t, awkward…) you know this. I often intermingle – ratings say perhaps too often and there are no ratings – sports and the wonderful non-fictional world of Marvel and Batman and Star Wars.

Sure, there’s been disappointments, even for Mr. Optimistic like myself.

2006 NBA Finals came up short, so did The Amazing Spider-Man.

2011 World Series was a huge letdown, as was The Dark Knight Rises.

The Dallas Cowboys are a huge tease, so was Iron Man 2.

In any event, there are constants. Hulk will smash and Dirk Nowitzki will be legendary.

Mar 19, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) celebrates with guard Vince Carter (25) against the Minnesota Timberwolves at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

My last article was written in a severe state of depression. For the first time all season, I went to bed not sad or upset at my/the/our Dallas Mavericks but PISSED OFF.

Last Tuesday Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and being wide-*** open led the severely depleted Golden State Warriors – missing both members of their front court, David Lee and Andrew Bogut –  to an overtime, buzzer beating, head smashing, pillow throwing, angry texting, irresponsible selfie taking, pill-swallowing, world-hating 122-120 win over the Mavs.

Although the Mavericks graciously spared a severe meltdown like the one in Los Angeles in January, this game was so very big and the last chance for the Mavericks to have any realistic control of grabbing the 6th seed in the super-mega-ultra-crazy Western Conference rather than staying in the night-to-night battle with Memphis and Phoenix over the final two spots instead of potentially switching places the Warriors and even more tantalizing the prospect of passing Portland for the 5th spot in the conference standings.

The Warriors loss last week and the Clippers collapse I alluded to were two big, bright chances to make a serious play and escape the more anxious confines of the latter seeds of 7 and 8 and fearfully 9th, which would mean no playoffs for a consecutive season and that would be incredibly depressing when, despite a high win total and overall a productive season, the team has absolutely lost more games than the opponent has taken from them. That’s deciphered as an excuse, but truthfully the Mavericks have made it customary to blow leads of all sizes this year.

In fact, they nearly did it last Thursday in Los Angeles against the dreaded Clippers. But led by the #GodOfFadeaway aka “Dat Dood” aka “The Germanator” aka “@Swish41” aka……………………………..it’s Dirk. The Mavericks tackled another one of their self-inflicted demons and at last defeated the Clippers – and on the road, too. Nowitzki had 26 points and 11 rebounds, his third double double in five games which matched his DD total from the season’s first 69 contests. It was a huge victory for so many reasons, but most notably a bounceback W against a team that entered the game 31-5 at home.

Just admit it 2013-2014 Dallas Mavericks, you prefer road games.

Mar 21, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA;Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) is introduced before the game against the against the Denver Nuggets at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After a very disappointing home stand of 8 games (a franchise record as you’ve hopefully been made aware of by now) where the Mavs split 4-4 on the once safe confines of the American Airlines Center, losing the 4 games by 12 points with one of those being a six point defeat to the Clipps. The other three were overtime losses to Minnesota, Brooklyn and Golden State by 1, 3, and 2. combined  the team departed to the west coast and defeated the contending Clippers, the lottery-bound Kings and the DREADFUL Lakers sandwiched between the two.

Tonight they play the rebuilding Utah Jazz, who despite tallying just 24 wins this season and only winning three of their last 20 games, are always a formidable task at Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City.

Because the Spurs finally lost a game to the Thunder, the Mavs modest three-game winning streak is tops in the West. However, the numbers that mean anything and everything right now are W/L, W% & GB.

That’s wins, losses, win percentage and games back (or ahead) for the uninitiated.

Mar 9, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) celebrates late in the fourth quarter after his team made a three point basket against the Indiana Pacers at American Airlines Center. The Mavs beat the Pacers 105-94. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns continue to defy odds and win games against fellow playoff squads, defeating Portland on the road and OKC at home to jump ahead of Memphis, who has fallen to the doomsday spot of 9th at the current moment. The Mavs are at 7, with the smallest possible .5 game lead over the Suns and 1.5 games over Memphis, the same number of GB they trail the Warriors.

But as a fan, my focus is on the #7 seed. Those matchups I detailed earlier where the Mavericks failed miserably to take advantage of a prime, prime position to contend for a seed higher than seven are painfully to go over in your mind and at 47-31, there are just four games left with hopefully (please lord if you’re not busy giving the executives at McDonald’s more ideas for sandwiches can you help us?!) a playoff series at least to follow!

Time is running out on the season, and the failures to nab seed 6 are no longer of my concern. I’m confident against the Thunder if Dallas holds onto their current position. However I can’t say the same for our prospects against the San Antonio Spurs.

Dirk Nowitzki has a picture of the Larry O’Brien trophy in his locker. How do I know this? He’s The Winning Soldier. And we owe him everything.

Let’s. Go. Mavs.

Tonight my favorite team plays my favorite player. But don’t worry, my squad containing Dirk and Gordon Hayward has won it’s third straight title. So I won’t be pulling for Gordon too much tonight. Maybe just 30/12/8 in a Mavs blowout win.

Also the movie was frikkin’ amazing. See it if you love good movies. Definitely see it if you love Super Hero movies. Don’t see it if you’re a Thunder fan I don’t want you enjoying things.

Also. Jk i’m done.