Dallas Mavericks GOAT Dirk Nowitzki put on a show in the clutch

Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Dallas Mavericks GOAT Dirk Nowitzki was clutch

The Dallas Mavericks swung the momentum in the 2011 NBA Finals with a 15-point fourth quarter comeback in game two. Dirk Nowitzki sank the winning layup with 3.6 seconds remaining. Without that play, the Mavs may not have won the title in 2011.

With the NBA suspended, there has been more time to analyze those classic games. It also made me think about all the moments that fans witnessed Dirk come up clutch by drilling a shot late in the game to give the Mavericks the lead.

The curiosity was spurred on further when ESPN ran this graphic as part of their coverage of The Last Dance. Michael Jordan was shot 50 percent in his playoff career on game-tying or go-ahead shots in the final 24 seconds. He was the only MVP over the last 20 seasons to shoot better than Dirk Nowitzki’s 39 percent.

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The Mavericks GOAT was clutch in the playoffs when it mattered most. Fans know he also hit three game-winning buzzer-beaters according to Basketball-Reference. Just how clutch was he during his career? I ran the numbers.

Dallas Mavericks GOAT Dirk Nowitzki was clutch

Using NBA Stats clutch metrics (game within five points in the last five minutes) here are Nowitzki’s numbers. In his career, he scored 1,944 points in those situations. Dirk shot 43.3 percent from the field, 32.4 percent on his 3-pointers, and 87.9 percent from the free throw line.

Those are stellar numbers in clutch situations. This season, Luka Doncic, LeBron James, Damian Lillard, and Anthony Davis all shot below 40 percent on their clutch field goals.

The Mavericks also won 58.4 percent of those clutch regular season games during Dirk’s career. He was outstanding.

Nowitzki’s numbers are not quite as strong in the playoffs. He scored 245 clutch playoff points in his storied career. Dirk shot 36.4 percent from the field, 37.9 percent on his 3-pointers, and 92.6 percent from the foul line. Even making 36 percent is incredible in the toughest situations with the defense keying on you.

Dirk did shoot an unbelievable 15 of 28 in clutch situations during the 2011 playoffs. He also made 33 of 34 free throws that season. Nowitzki coming up aces when the Mavericks needed him most was a major reason they brought home the title.

The Mavs also posted a video of every Nowitzki game-winner last year. Enjoy it below.

Dirk Nowitzki was absolutely clutch. He always seemed to come up with a bucket when the Dallas Mavericks needed it most. Another reason why he is unquestionably the Mavs GOAT.

Fans should be excited as the team prepares to honor Nowitzki with a statue and jersey retirement. It could happen as soon as next season if fans are allowed back inside the American Airlines Center at some point. That will be an exciting time for all.

Thanks for everything, Dirk. Hopefully, you are enjoying your retirement.

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