The Dallas Mavericks have been devastated by injury, and their chances don’t look good against OKC. Might as well give Dirk Nowitzki the Kobe treatment.
A few nights ago Kobe Bryant grabbed headlines when he scored 60 points in the final game of his decorated, 20-year career. Knowing that it was his last chance to do what he’s done best over the course of his two decades in the NBA, Bryant’s Laker teammates fed the future Hall of Fame guard the ball all night.
Who cares, right? The Lakers were out of playoff contention, and the game was more or less meaningless save for the Kobe’s-last-game factor. Why not try to get him 50 shots?
Now, a few days later, the Dallas Mavericks find themselves in a similar position. The Mavs are in the playoffs, but were slaughtered in Game 1 and even with a healthy roster the team is outmatched by the Oklahoma City Thunder pretty handily. And the Mavericks are anything but healthy. Chandler Parsons, J.J. Barea, Deron Williams, David Lee, etc. are all out with various ailments.
So why not try to get their future Hall of Famer as many shots as they can?
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It would make the fans happy, and honestly, it’s not such a bad game plan, either.
Dirk Nowitzki was the only Maverick that scored in double figures during Saturday night’s beatdown, shooting 7-15 from the floor for 18 points. Barea and Williams, out for Game 2, combined to take 15 shots – making two of them. Those attempts have to go somewhere, and if avoidable, probably shouldn’t be going to anyone but Nowitzki.
He’s not retiring, but unlike Kobe this season, Nowitzki is still the best player on his team.
As painful as it may be to read for Dallas fans, the Mavericks have no shot in this series. Why not find some enjoyment in it by watching what Dirk can do with 50 shots a game at 37?