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Dirk Nowitzki has been the best player this Playoffs, but has some work to do down 0-1 to the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals
No. Meet Dirk Nowitzki.
Without Dirk, the Mavericks wouldn't have even made the Playoffs, let alone the NBA Finals.
Dirk Nowitzki has elevated his game, like James, to a level that no one thought was possible.
As Rick Barry noted during the Western Conference Finals Trophy presentation, "a special admiration and respect [is due] to Dirk Nowitzki, who has raised his game to another level."
During the Mavericks's surprising postseason run, Dirk has averaged 28 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game, and is shooting an unprecedented 51% from the field, 51% from beyond the arc, and 93% from the line.
Dirk is doing things we have never seen before, and may never see again.
His one-footed, one-legged, turnaround, fade away, high release, ridiculous jump-shot is the most unstoppable shot since Kareem's sky hook.
He is incredibly efficient, he is breaking records, and he simply unstoppable.
Let's look at his 48 point outburst against the OKC Thunder as an example of his postseason greatness.
According to CSNPhilly.com, "Nowitzki’s 48 points are the most in NBA history on 15 or fewer shots—playoffs or otherwise" and "Nowitzki needed 11 fewer field goal attempts than anybody in NBA history to score 48 points in a playoff game. The previous fewest shots by a player scoring 48 or more points in the postseason was 26 by...Nowitzki in a 50-point game against Phoenix in 2006."
Basically, no one in NBA history has ever stepped on this ground before, and now Dirk Nowitzki has done it twice.
Additionally, Dirk broke records on the free throw line during that game and the WCF as "24 free throws without a miss are the most ever in a regular season or playoff game." Dirk also hit 13 in a row during a quarter, as well as 39 in a row over two games. Dirk missed only two free throws that series, going 60-62, shooting 97%, and breaking another NBA record.
Dirk is also one of four players that has scored 48 points or more during a playoff game after turning 32, the others being Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, and Ray Allen.
Dirk is doing unbelievable things right now.
Let's not forget that Dirk has been playing this way for years. Nowitzki is one of four players to average 28 points and 10 rebounds per game in their playoff careers (the others are Karl Malone, Moses Malone, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). What he is doing today is simply remarkable, my words cannot do him justice—and neither can stats.
The box score, although impressive, does not show everything Dirk does on the court. The box scores can't show the degree of difficulty of the shots he's making. The box score has no statistic that measures his will to win. The box score can't show the way he takes over games and leads the Mavericks to comeback after comeback.
Dirk Nowitzki deserves to be recognized as the most valuable player in this years' NBA playoffs.
Yes, LeBron is playing out of his mind right now...but when I see two defenders run at Dwyane Wade (see: Miami's Eastern Conference Finals series against Chicago) during crunch time, I just can't give him the nod over the Big German.
Dirk Nowitzki is doing legendary things in legendary times. See for yourself, and give Dirk Nowitzki the respect he's earned in these playoffs.
Nowitness greatness as the Mavs try to climb out of a 1-0 hole as they face the Miami Heat tonight on ABC at 9PM EST.