Normally I don't get into the "Who is better" conversation, but after a recent article involving the words "Dirk" and "overrated", I feel there are still some people that don't quite get it.
Let's first establish the fact that I am a Pacers fan who realizes that Danny Granger is a bit overrated, which I have talked about in two recent articles. I have no emotion involved in the opinions that I express: I just look at the facts.
There has been a lot of talk, with the All-Star game in Dallas this weekend, that Dirk (a reserve) will be awarded the game MVP because he is the home town guy. Not only is the All-Star game itself a joke, but the MVP award really means nothing.
When I look at Dirk Nowitzki, I see a guy that is capable of being a monster, but chooses to be a great shooter, not much more. If I have the ball with eight seconds left and need a shot to win, he wouldn't be my first, second, or third choice, but I would definitely put his name in the conversation.
Much is made about his size, and the position that he plays. I have no problem with him playing on the perimeter so much, but when you have one post move as an NBA player, that's not good enough for me. A fade-away post jumper is hard to guard, but I haven't seen him do anything more than that down low.
Now that we have established that Dirk is a great shooter, let's talk about what else he is dominant at.
He isn't a good defender, and he doesn't really offer a shot-blocking presence. Okay, how about rebounding? This was a hot topic in my last article, and I have pointed out that in RP48, Dirk ranks 66th in the league. Initially I thought that was bad, and when I thought more about it, I realized just how awful it actually is.
You would think with a shooter like Jason Terry on the team, he would be able to kick out a few assists to him, or hit Jason Kidd for a spot up three. No, no, Dirk doesn't do that either.
On the other hand, Gerald Wallace has blossomed this season, and is taking the Bobcats franchise to a level they have never seen before. Steven Jackson has been a great addition to the team, but Wallace is the leader.
Before being named to the All-Star team this season, Wallace burst onto the scene as a scorer and shot blocker. He has improved his all-around game, and in my book, is better than Dirk.
Statistically, they have played about the same amount of time: Dirk 51 games to Wallace's 49. Dirk does average 5.5 points more per game, but Gerald shoots a better percentage, not just from inside the arc but outside as well. That was one stat that certainly surprised me; not only has Wallace made more three pointers, but he has actually shot more of them than Dirk.
They both only average a couple of assists per game, and perhaps Wallace should be averaging more with Jackson on the team, but they both should look to improve in that category. The steals per game goes to Wallace, with a two to one margin. They both average the same amount of blocks and have committed the same number of fouls, if that's even a relevant statistical category.
Perhaps the biggest difference in the statistics is the rebounding margin, which is almost four per game. This is the one area which I will always look at and grade you on. Especially if you are seven feet tall, Dirk.
When it comes to playing defense, there is no doubt Wallace is the better defender. The distance between the two in that category is wider than the Grand Canyon.
Some people will say Wallace is a thousand times better at dunking too. While it may be true, I wouldn't factor that into either player's overall NBA game.
Not many people lay back on their couch to watch a Bobcats game. I do believe once the playoffs are underway, people will finally find out about Gerald Wallace. Now only just how underrated he is, but that he is actually better than Dirk.