Mavericks: Best moments from the rookie season of Dirk Nowitzki

Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki (Photo by PAUL BUCK/AFP via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki (Photo by PAUL BUCK/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki Mandatory Credit: Ronald Martinez /Allsport /

Strong close

After his 29-point game on April 16, Dirk Nowitzki started the remaining 11 games of his rookie season. He became a go-to scorer and began his dominant run that lasted over two decades. During those 11 games, Nowitzki averaged 13.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.1 steals in 33.4 minutes per game. It was a small sample, but Dirk showed his potential.

Those numbers were impacted significantly by a game against the Lakers where Nowitzki fouled out in under 15 minutes. He had his second and third 20-plus point games. Dirk was playing massive minutes and rewarding the Mavericks.

They started winning games too. The Mavs were 13-26 before those final 11 games. They won six down the stretch. Dallas finished 40-42 the following season before starting their impressive run of making the playoffs 15 of the next 16 seasons.

Nowitzki took another step forward in his second season and blossomed into a 20 point per game scorer by year three. It only got better as he became one of the all-time greats. Dirk had a forgettable slow start to an otherworldly career.

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