Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press
Entering the 2013-14 regular season, the most common question about the Dallas Mavericks was in reference to the potential decline of Dirk Nowitzki. He was hindered by injuries in 2012-13, and at 35, his window of opportunity to win another title is closing.
Forty-three games in, Dirk's making one thing clear: He still has it.
Nowitzki is averaging 21.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.0 steal in 32.2 minutes per game. Most impressively, he's doing all of this while shooting 48.1 percent from the field, 40.5 percent from three-point range and 90.5 percent from the free-throw line.
Not only is that extremely efficient, but it's downright elite.
Nowitzki is No. 7 in the NBA with a player efficiency rating of 23.57, per John Hollinger of ESPN. He's also No. 12 in Estimated Wins Added and has a true shooting percentage of .587, per Hollinger.
Dirk's greatest success has come as a result of the Mavericks' willingness to move the ball. In fact, 7.5 of his 16.0 field-goal attempts per game are coming in catch-and-shoot situations, per NBA.com.
Nowitzki is shooting 47.7 percent on catch-and-shoot field-goal attempts and 40.1 percent on catch-and-shoot three-point field-goal attempts, per NBA.com.
Among qualified players—at least 30 games played and 4.0 pullup attempts per contest—Dirk is also No. 5 in the NBA in pullup field-goal percentage at 43.1, per NBA.com.
What this all adds up to is a very clear reality: Dirk can score, and there's nothing that opposing defenses can do to stop him.
What else is new?