Call me a masochist, but I finally worked up enough energy to browse the various stat sites to see if there was anything to be taken from the New Orleans game that hasn't already been discussed a thousand times (there isn't). While looking around, I started to look at some of the big picture league ranking type of articles that I generally skip during the regular season. An odd thing struck my eye: Dirk Nowitzki is everywhere. Quite simply, he is a dominant player in the league.
For example, I took a stop at 82games.com, which I hadn't visited in months. The first thing I noticed was "Clutch Stats" and the sister column "Super Clutch" stats. And there was Dirk, ranked third behind Kobe Bryant and Lebron James in clutch time point production. What about "Super Clutch" production? There's Dirk ranked fourth, with Manu Ginobli sneaking ahead of him.
Okay, here's another column on best performers against good teams. Nowitzki is ranked sixth in the league. He's ninth against average teams and eighth against poor teams. Is our man Nowitzki bored unless he's challenged? Hrmm.
Let's head on over the knickerblogger.net. Dirk's efficiency puts him at fifth in the league.
And so on.
I guess this is quite obvious in hindsight, but Dirk is often criticized for things he is actually very good at (being "clutch") and he is routinely taken for granted on things that he does as well as anyone in the league (producing on offense). On a night when I was confronted with nothing but bad news in regards to the opening playoff game with the Hornets, it was the kind of jolt I needed.