Dallas Mavericks top plays: Luka Doncic dunks over Denver vs. Dirk Nowitzki passes Wilt
By Kohl Rast
With just a few more matchups in the first round of the Dallas Mavericks top plays/moments of 2018-19, today we visit the 6-seed vs. the 11-seed with yet another matchup between big moments from Luka Doncic and Dirk Nowitzki.
The overlapping of Luka Doncic‘s incredible rookie season with Dirk Nowitzki‘s final year of an illustrious career will probably be the subject of a documentary in the future and the Dallas Mavericks were blessed to get 81 games worth from 2018 to 2019 (Dirk and Luka both sat the game against the LA Clippers on December 2).
Each of these players brought forth some amazing moments that Mavs fans and basketball fans all over the world got to witness. Most of Luka’s moments came on the court and were about basketball and the moment. Many of Dirk’s moments came off the court, were about more than basketball and reflected an illustrious career instead of just one moment.
This corner of the bracket represents exactly that: an incredible moment from Luka Doncic during the season vs. a lifetime of achievements that all came together to create one great moment that took place this year.
6 – Luka Doncic dunks all over the Denver Nuggets
One of the best single plays from the Dallas Mavericks season happened when Luka Doncic decided to take out some of his frustrations on the Denver Nuggets and the rim in Denver. On March 14th of this year, Luka and the Mavs visited the Nuggets in Denver for the third and final meeting between the teams for the season.
The Mavericks had lost the first two matchups and Luka wanted to beat his fellow European star, Nikola Jokic. He took matters into his own hands with just 5 seconds left in the game. Driving to his left, Luka got past Mason Plumlee (who had switched onto Luka for some reason) and went straight to the basket, dunking on both Plumlee and Paul Millsap.
The dunk was a thing of beauty and the fact that he flushed it and got fouled in a play when the Mavs were down by 1 is so telling of just what kind of player Luka is. Even though the Mavs still ended up losing this game (in regulation impressively enough), it was still one of the best highlights for the Mavs year.
11 – Dirk Nowitzki passes Wilt Chamberlain on NBA All-Time scoring list
You are probably wondering why a simple dunk is ranked ahead of Dirk Nowitzki working his way past Wilt Chamberlain, one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history and cementing himself firmly as the 6th highest scorer in the history of the league, but I have my reasons for doing so.
Firstly, this list was built to reflect the best moments of the 2018-19 Mavericks season. Although this moment itself happened during the season, it was a shot that reflected a culmination of all the amazing shots Dirk had hit throughout the past 21 years. The moment itself was fleeting, but it put Dirk’s name in the record books even more permanently than before.
Secondly, this accomplishment put Dirk as the 6th overall scorer in NBA history. This is a really cool accomplishment, but something Dirk had already done once before. When Dirk passed Shaquille O’Neal, he jumped to 6th overall and held that spot for a little while. The reason he went back down to 7th was because of LeBron James.
Lastly, there were other achievements that meant more than this one, even though this was the final achievement for the big German. Moments like when he became the Mavs All-Time leading scorer, when he passed Hakeem Olajuwon as the most prolific scorer born outside of the United States or even when he broke the 30,000 mark, becoming only the 6th player to ever do so (and cementing in that 6th overall for good).
The moment was great and it was historic and will undoubtedly win in this poll. I am not bashing the greatness of that moment, but when it comes to Dirk, he has given us so many great moments that it is hard to decipher the great from the one-of-a-kind.
We will continue to search for the Dallas Mavericks best play/moment of 2018-19 going forward as the bracket has almost completely laid itself out at this point. To stay up to date on it all, follow us on Twitter or continue reading here at TheSmokingCuban.com.