Michael Jordan against Dirk Nowitzki in the NBA Legends vs. NBA Current Stars Finals is a really intriguing matchup.
On one side of the ball you have a 7'0'', 245-pound power forward that plays more like a shooting guard than an actual forward. On the other side, you have a living legend, a 6'6'', 216-pound shooting guard who helped shape professional basketball into what it is today.
You have a player in Dirk Nowitzki who lacks explosive athleticism but uses his size intelligently to his advantage, making him nearly impossible to defend at times. On the other hand, you have a player in Jordan who plays with an explosive-yet-controlled athleticism, also making him nearly impossible to defend.
Jordan and Dirk play different styles of the game but are similar in the fact that they both can take over a game and decide the outcome at will.
This game will be a played in streaks. Dirk will start off the game by backing Jordan down and hitting fadeaway jumpers until he misses. Once he misses, Jordan will take over and test Dirk's ability to stay with him and his ability to get to the rim. Once Dirk commits to defending Jordan's dribble-and-drive game, Jordan will resort to his perimeter step-back jumper, which will be more inconsistent, forcing him into difficult shots.
With the game going back and forth, the player who wins will have to be extremely efficient with his possessions. Michael Jordan, with an efficiency rating of 27.9 percent, has the advantage over Dirk's 23.7 percent.
Despite Dirk's relative inefficient play, the German will still be able to stay in the game due to his size advantage, but it will also ultimately be the reason Nowitzki loses this game.
Once Jordan hits a few long-range jumpers and Dirk is forced to defend him on the perimeter, Jordan will take over the game. Jordan will do so because there is no way that Dirk will be able to defend Jordan on the perimeter and be quick enough to take away his ability to drive.
Jordan is ultimately too much for Dirk too handle; his athleticism and polished shooting touch will carry him once again to a championship—a championship which ultimately proves that he is the greatest one-on-one player to ever grace the NBA.
Michael Jordan (25) Dirk Nowitzki (21)