Dallas Mavericks: The return of Dirk Nowitzki is still a big deal

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 24: Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki walks around during a second quarter timeout of a NBA game against the Atlanta Hawks on October 24, 2018, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 24: Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki walks around during a second quarter timeout of a NBA game against the Atlanta Hawks on October 24, 2018, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

There are people who will downplay the return of Dirk Nowitzki to the Dallas Mavericks in the upcoming weeks. They will say a 40-year old can’t help a team that much. Don’t listen to them.

Before Devin Harris made his return to the Dallas Mavericks, there was plenty of talk about how he wouldn’t make that significant of an impact for the team. After spending time in the Mavs locker room this past week, I can assure you that the players and coaches are very excited to have Harris back in the rotation.

Harris’ impact on the stat sheet was limited. He scored 6 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal in his first game back over 12 minutes of game time. His second game was a little bit better with 7 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block. Both games since Harris has been back were wins for the Mavs and great bench performances overall.

Harris has clearly been a bit of a difference maker on the court, making veteran plays and adding a defensive edge to the backcourt that the Mavericks have been missing. This is Devin’s strength and something Dallas utilizes well. So why in the world would the Mavs not get better with Dirk Nowitzki’s offensive prowess coming off the bench?

The people who honestly believe that Dirk will not be the difference maker in at least a handful of games this season have some serious issues with short-term memory. It wasn’t that long ago that Dirk was not only a top player for the Mavs, but a top player around the league. His offensive abilities from a 7-foot frame are still mostly unstoppable in the league. He is still a threat.

The nostalgic point of view for Dirk is a good one and one I recommend for anyone. There is nothing better than watching the greatness of the big German get out on the court and beat up on the Mavs opponents from every area of the court. The one-legged fader will live on in our hearts for generations after Dirk has retired.

The actual play expected from Dirk is the real reason you should be excited for him to return. Dirk may not be as mobile as he once was, he may be even more of a liability on defense and he may not be able to stay on the court for more than 20-25 minutes, but he will certainly impact the game in a positive way for Dallas more often than not.

People want to overlook the fact that Nowitzki would not be back for another season if he did not feel like he could immediately contribute to the team. He knows he still has plenty left in the tank to really show people what he is capable of this late in his career. He is still the great one for Dallas.

Next. Dallas Mavericks: Dorian Finney-Smith not just a de facto starter

So before you decide that this is the best this Mavericks team can get, just remember that Dirk isn’t here yet and that should scare all of the Mavs opponents.