Dirk Nowitzki Has Critics, But Where Are Steve Nash's?

John FlinchbaughCorrespondent IApril 26, 2008

As a Mavericks fan, I am used to seeing people criticize Dirk Nowitzki whenever he has a poor game.

Never mind the fact that he puts up performances like he did in Game Three of the Mavs-Hornets series on Friday (32 points, 19 rebounds, six assists).

You have to look all the way back to 2003 to find a player that has accomplished that feat in the playoffs.  Oh, by the way, that player is Tim Duncan.

Anyway, after Steve Nash and his Phoenix Suns fell to down 3-0 to the San Antonio Spurs, one has to wonder, where are the critics of Steve Nash?

He has Amare Stoudemire.  He has Shaquille O'Neal.  He even has Grant Hill.  Those are three perennial All-Star caliber players, yet Steve Nash gets no criticism? 

So who does get criticism on the Suns? It seems like the ESPNs of this world are just in shock that the Suns are down 3-0.  It's almost like it's a tragedy, something that the whole world is supposed to be disappointed about.  

Steve Nash had seven points, nine assists, and two rebounds last night.  

What is that? 

As fellow columnist Robert Cenzon (see: The Decline of the Dallas Mavericks) points out, if Dirk Nowitzki were to have a night like that (maybe switch rebounds with assists), he would be labeled a huge choker.  

I'm getting tired of this.  Compare Dirk Nowitzki's playoff resume with that of Kevin Garnett, or really any other power forward of this era. It boils down to one simple fact that can't be disputed.  

Dirk Nowitzki is the second-best power forward of this era, behind Tim Duncan.

To further back up this fact, Dirk Nowitzki has actually beaten Tim Duncan in a series! Do people think Dirk Nowitzki is a lame MVP and Steve Nash is a cool MVP?

Steve Nash hasn't even beaten the Spurs in a playoff series! In fact, they get ousted in embarrassing, scarring fashion every single time.  

Winning or losing this Hornets series is irrelevant in proving Dirk Nowitzki's worth.  This guy is a true professional.  Critics will focus on his shortcomings and ignore his obvious success.

Meanwhile, they will focus on the obvious success of players like Steve Nash and Kevin Garnett instead of focusing on their shortcomings.  

Nowitzki is averaging 30 points per game in this series, but does anyone notice that? What are people's response to that?

They're simply just waiting for Dirk to actually have a bad game, and then they will begin to criticize him again as if it was the only thing that had ever happened.

Listen, critics, you know this is true.  And honestly, you can continue to do it, because it really means absolutely nothing.

Perhaps you can focus on criticizing Steve Nash instead of Dirk Nowitzki this year, because quite frankly, the Suns are about to be swept in a shorter series than Dirk Nowitzki will ever see in his career.