Dallas Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki finding stride in starting unit
By Kohl Rast
Over the past three games, Dirk Nowitzki has scored 38 while starting in each game. After starting in more than 1,400 games for the Dallas Mavericks, it is clear that this is his comfort zone.
Last night, Dirk Nowitzki played in his 1,501st NBA game with the Dallas Mavericks, the 2nd highest total for one player and one franchise. In four more games, he will be in 1st. Of those 1,501 games, Dirk has started 1,443 of them. He came off the bench in only 8 games if you take away his rookie year and this year.
In his career, Dirk has averaged just under 21 points per game. Of the games he has not started in, his average points per game is 5.6. That is a dramatic difference, although part of it is because most of his games coming off the bench were played in his rookie year and the current season.
The Mavs should continue to utilize Dirk in the starting lineup. Although he is a liability on defense and struggles moving up and down the court, his routine is set in stone and has been for 21 years. If we can put him back in that routine, it could elevate his game to a more consistent level like the one we have seen over the last three games.
With 21 games left in the Mavericks season and no real reasonable shot at the playoffs, Rick Carlisle should really consider starting Dirk in every game for the rest of the year. Simply put, that is what every Mavs fan wants to see at this point in the year and he has delivered in his first three performances. Luka Doncic and Dirk together is a beautiful sight.
There has been a lot of joy in the Mavs fans hearts over the past week. There is no better sight than seeing Dirk go at it right from the tip. The Mavs season is winding down, along with maybe Dirk’s career, but we can enjoy these final moments.