Dirk Nowitzki is a Baaad Man

To describe Dirk Nowitzki’s performance in the NBA Playoffs, especially the Western Conference Finals, as awesome, amazing, spectacular, and exciting are just understatements.  From his ridiculous free-throw percentage to his one-footed-fall away jumpers in the post to his two 40 point games against Oklahoma City can’t be justified by words.  Everyone needs to watch and just enjoy something the NBA has never seen from a seven-footer.  It’s the best story of the playoffs because Dirk finally re-established himself as a top player in the NBA and one of the best shooters all-time. (If you said LeBron and the Heat are a bigger story, disagree. Remember, they’re just playing to expectation.)

If I was to say, “There are two players in the history of the NBA that are once-of-a-kind, freakish, and athletic anomalies. Name them.” Your first answer wouldn’t take long and you would scream LeBron James, but who’s the other? You might say it’s Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlin, or Shaquille O’Neal. You might say it’s Tim Duncan, Bill Russell, or Julius Irving. You might even say it’s Larry Bird or Jesus Shuttlesworth, but you would be wrong on all accounts.  The other guy…is Dirk Nowitzki.

Is Dirk better than all of them? No, and calm the noise to the whole comparison to Bird because his game is nowhere as complete as Larry’s (Bird’s passing, defense, and post-game were too solid.). However, Dirk is something that the NBA has never seen before. As a former hater of Dirk I couldn’t get past my hate to appreciate how good he is.  He can drive the lane, post-up, pull up, knock down threes, run the floor, and he’s an excellent free-throw shooter. Basically, he plays as a 6’4 shooting guard, but don’t forget, HE’S SEVEN FEET TALL. (I hate him, but I really just want to be like Dick Vitale and scream ARE YOU SERIOUS!?).Think of the other top big men in the NBA.  LaMarcus Aldridge and Paul Gasol come to your mind? That’s ironic because Dirk embarrassed them in the first two rounds of the playoffs and has torched more solid defenders in Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison in the Western Conference Finals as the Mavericks beat them in five. (He also hit the dagger three-pointer that finished the comeback and gave them the win.) He started off the series going 12-15 from the field and 24-24 from the free throw line, breaking Paul Pierce’s record for most consecutive free throws made in a game. Of the 39 times he touched the ball, he made 36 shots (Dicky V one more time); His total for game one, 48.

 After the Mavericks came back in game four from a 15-point deficit with five minutes left and Dirk dropped another 40 against the Thunder, the talk about the more popular Chicago Bulls-Miami Heat series has become a whisper compared to the screams about Dirk. His playoff performance has been so amazing that Magic Johnson went from saying that James is his playoff MVP to changing his choice to Dirk only four hours later. If the NBA had an official playoff MVP, it’s hard to disagree with Magic and pick against him. He’s averaged 32 points a game in the West Final and 28 for the playoffs.  Now that the West’s representative is the Mavericks, they’ll wait to see if EL HEAT can close the Eastern Conference Finals against the Bulls tomorrow.  If so, the solid and suffocating team defense will have its work cut-out for them because of the bad matchup against Dirk. Who will be checking Dirk most of the series? Probably Chris Bosh, who is a more finesse player and doesn’t bang in the low post, something Dirk fed off of in Gasol.  Regardless, appreciate what Dirk is doing and be ready for the Finals because it’s going to be awesome, amazing, spectacular, and exciting.

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