Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Dirk Nowitzki - the true MVP of the NBA

Dirk Nowitzki is German and therefore really has to work hard in the U.S. to get his reputation. It is not very likely (although this is not fair) that he will be named MVP of the regular season in the NBA. It is gossipped that Steve Nash will win again (Why? He hasn't changed much, but Dirk has still improved on a top level). I have to take up the cudgels for Dirk Nowitzki.

Some facts:

Ranked seventh in the league in scoring (26.6), 16th in rebounds (9.0), fifth in free throw percentage (.901) and eighth in double-doubles (35) ... Recorded career-highs in scoring, field goal percentage (.480), three-point percentage (.406) and free throw percentage ... Became the third player in league history to average 26-plus points while shooting 90 percent or better from the line (Rick Barry and Larry Bird).

My take:

The Mavericks had the third best record in the NBA this season. Without Dirk Nowitzki, would they have even made the playoffs? Nowitzki's importance to Dallas is obvious, and given that the Mavericks far surpassed preseason expectations, Dirk must therefore have been far more capable of carrying a team than we imagined he could be. He's got the numbers of the MVP. You could make a case that Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and LeBron James mean as much to their club as Nowitzki does, but those guys don't play for a 60-win club. Only San Antonio and Detroit qualify in that category, and they did so more a result of playing as a unit than riding any one player.
Dirk and the Mavericks suffered from losing Steve Nash to Phoenix and Michael Finley to San Antonio. But they came back stronger than ever.
They have swept the first round of the playoffs against Memphis 4:0 as the only team to do this. Because of Dirk and his will to lead his team to new horizons. A true MVP!


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