Dirk Nowitzki: Why He's the Best Player Left in the 2011 NBA Playoffs

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Dirk Nowitzki: Why He's the Best Player Left in the 2011 NBA Playoffs
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Just three wins away from representing the Western Conference in the 2011 NBA Finals, Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks are rolling.

Since facing a tough first-round series with the Portland Trailblazers, the Mavericks have taken off. The Mavericks swept Kobe Bryant and the second-seeded Los Angeles Lakers in a series where there was never a doubt the Mavericks were the better team.

Step-up play from Dirk Nowitzki is arguably the most significant reason the the Mavericks find themselves in a favorable position to win an NBA championship.

Now up 1-0 in their Western Conference Finals match-up against the young, talented Oklahoma City Thunder, Nowitzki will have to continue to prove his worth as the series goes on.

Here are the five reasons why Dirk Nowitzki is not only the best player in blue and white, but the best player left in the NBA playoffs.

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