It’s been a rocky season for the Dallas Mavericks who overhauled the majority of their roster and has resulted in some team chemistry problems. However, that hasn’t been new for the Mavericks whom have had drastic roster changes the last few seasons but there’s been one consistent cog in the lineup, Dirk Nowitzki.
Nowitzki has been the constant element year in and year out posting All-Star caliber numbers and adding to his hall of fame resume but this year has been interesting for the 7 foot German to say the least.
Age has been a big factor for Dirk. now 37, as the team has made it even more of an emphasis to keep him fresh for the playoffs and it seems as if it’s paying off as he’s having perhaps his best month of the season here in April. Dirk is shooting 52.2 percent while averaging 20.2 points per game and looks to be playing with an extra gear.
“A lot better than December and January,” Nowitzki said after scoring 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting in the win over the Lakers. “That was a stretch where nothing seemed to go. Didn’t feel great moving up and down, so I think I worked myself back where I wanted to be coming toward the playoffs.”
Now Dirk’s defense hasn’t really improved nor has his rebounding numbers but that’s never been his bread and butter. Dirk’s a scorer who strikes fear into the opposing coaches as they game-plan how they’ll defend the big German. Dirk has made it a priority to do heavy leg lifting in the weight room throughout the regular season and at times causes him to be a little sluggish for games but it’s all about the long-term.
Anybody’s whose every went through a long rigorous workout plan for weeks or months at a time can understand how there are days where you feel beat down physically and sometimes mentally but you have to push through because of what the end result may be. Once you get that rest week you feel like a better version of yourself and can perform at that higher level before you started your workout regime. That’s probably how Dirk feels right now and it’s showing.
Regardless of who the Mavs face in the first round Dirk will have to go up a formidable opponent at the power forward position whether that be Tim Duncan, Blake Griffin or Zach Rudolph. Whomever it may be a rejuvenated Dirk is what the Mavs need especially with all the ‘drama’ concerning the team’s leading scorer Monta Ellis.
Don’t get me wrong I don’t expect Dirk to drop 30 or 40 points in the playoffs but I do expect him to hit those timely shots in the game when the Mavs NEED a basket to keep the game close or take the lead.
The Mavericks need a strong playoff run if they’re to have any hope of keeping this core of players together. After all winning cures everything and a Dirk Nowitzki playing at his best in time for the playoffs definitely pays the bill.