Dirk Nowitzki, who played 47.2 minutes last night, ended up being the only Maverick with a positive +/- last night.
In the 45 or so seconds he was off the court Dallas was -7.
Dirk is getting a lot of crap today, and he should -- he had just 2 points in the 4th quarter before making two threes when the loss was just about wrapped up. The Dirk hate is so high right now that Mike Fisher felt obliged to add this in his article today.
OK, I'll say it: Don't boo Dirk on Tuesday, please. It won't help.
I actually did manage to come across some Dirk praise today though, and it came from an unlikely source -- Ric Bucher
The game went to the wire but the mano-a-mano battle occurred with 3:20 left when, with the Mavs leading by four, Nowitzki grabbed the rebound of a missed 3-pointer by Jerry Stackhouse. The smart play would've been to burn time off the clock before taking another shot. The gutsy play would've been to go right back up with it. Dirk was gutsy. He just wasn't successful.
Nowitzki's animation didn't end there. He was as MVP-like as I've seen him. When he drove and dished the ball to where he expected Jason Terry to be and saw the ball sail into the Mavs' bench instead, he visibly cursed at Terry for being in the wrong place. Walking his talk, he then buried a turnaround jumper at the left elbow and harassed Jason Richardson with energetic ballhawking (!) into a turnover.