2012-13 Dallas Mavericks Player Preview: Dirk Nowitzki

Joern Pollex - Bongarts/Getty Images

The final player previews. Who else to end with, but Dirk? Everyone knows what he's capable of, but here's a reminder, just in case basketball's absence made you forget how ridiculous he is.

This is hardly great timing.

Fourteen player previews have been written. One left, and who else would the final preview be but Dirk? He's the star, the champion, the clutch shot maker and the moral-boosting leader.

And, of course, he's injured. He might have surgery and miss over a month. That same knee from last year is screwing around with him again.

Remember, as you're reading my analysis of Dirk, that I'm not trying to rub it in your face. If it helps to forget how amazing Dirk is until we're sure he's healthy so you don't burst out in tears if the Mavericks take the court without him, nobody is going to make you read this. Better yet: bookmark it and come back when he is -- and hopefully, that's in few days, not a few weeks.

I'd imagine most of you guys are still with me, because taking advice from a talking voice on the internet is probably a bad idea from the very smart. That's fine. You've been warned about possible side effects.

Here is Dirk's career numbers.

Season Age Tm Lg G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1998-99 20 DAL NBA 47 24 20.4 2.9 7.1 .405 0.3 1.4 .206 2.1 2.7 .773 0.9 2.6 3.4 1.0 0.6 0.6 1.6 2.2 8.2
1999-00 21 DAL NBA 82 81 35.8 6.3 13.6 .461 1.4 3.7 .379 3.5 4.2 .830 1.2 5.2 6.5 2.5 0.8 0.8 1.7 3.1 17.5
2000-01 22 DAL NBA 82 82 38.1 7.2 15.2 .474 1.8 4.8 .387 5.5 6.6 .838 1.5 7.7 9.2 2.1 1.0 1.2 1.9 3.0 21.8
2001-02 23 DAL NBA 76 76 38.0 7.9 16.6 .477 1.8 4.6 .397 5.8 6.8 .853 1.6 8.4 9.9 2.4 1.1 1.0 1.9 2.9 23.4
2002-03 24 DAL NBA 80 80 39.0 8.6 18.6 .463 1.9 4.9 .379 6.0 6.9 .881 1.0 8.9 9.9 3.0 1.4 1.0 1.9 2.6 25.1
2003-04 25 DAL NBA 77 77 37.9 7.9 17.0 .462 1.3 3.8 .341 4.8 5.5 .877 1.2 7.5 8.7 2.7 1.2 1.4 1.8 2.8 21.8
2004-05 26 DAL NBA 78 78 38.7 8.5 18.5 .459 1.2 2.9 .399 7.9 9.1 .869 1.2 8.5 9.7 3.1 1.2 1.5 2.3 2.8 26.1
2005-06 27 DAL NBA 81 81 38.1 9.3 19.3 .480 1.4 3.3 .406 6.7 7.4 .901 1.4 7.6 9.0 2.8 0.7 1.0 1.9 2.0 26.6
2006-07 28 DAL NBA 78 78 36.2 8.6 17.2 .502 0.9 2.2 .416 6.4 7.1 .904 1.6 7.3 8.9 3.4 0.7 0.8 2.1 2.2 24.6
2007-08 29 DAL NBA 77 77 36.0 8.2 17.1 .479 1.0 2.9 .359 6.2 7.1 .879 1.2 7.3 8.6 3.5 0.7 0.9 2.1 2.6 23.6
2008-09 30 DAL NBA 81 81 37.7 9.6 20.0 .479 0.8 2.1 .359 6.0 6.7 .890 1.1 7.3 8.4 2.4 0.8 0.8 1.9 2.2 25.9
2009-10 31 DAL NBA 81 80 37.5 8.9 18.5 .481 0.6 1.5 .421 6.6 7.2 .915 1.0 6.7 7.7 2.7 0.9 1.0 1.8 2.6 25.0
2010-11 32 DAL NBA 73 73 34.3 8.4 16.2 .517 0.9 2.3 .393 5.4 6.1 .892 0.7 6.3 7.0 2.6 0.5 0.6 1.9 2.4 23.0
2011-12 33 DAL NBA 62 62 33.5 7.6 16.7 .457 1.3 3.4 .368 5.1 5.7 .896 0.7 6.0 6.8 2.2 0.7 0.5 1.9 2.1 21.6
Career NBA 1055 1030 36.3 8.0 16.8 .475 1.2 3.2 .380 5.7 6.5 .878 1.2 7.1 8.3 2.6 0.9 1.0 1.9 2.5 22.9
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 10/10/2012.

And video of one of his better games last season, a 40 point outing against Utah.

The stats don't lie -- Dirk had an off-year last season. Between the short summer, crazy lockout schedule, and the nagging knee injury, his excuses are solid. The thing is, he was still really, really good.

Barring some serious setbacks due to his knee, Dirk is primed to continue his superstar play. He was able to get away from basketball for a good 3 1/2 months, but this year, didn't slack on his cardio. At this point in his career, Dirk doesn't need to be slaving away in the gym to add a feature to his game or refine a skill. He's proven himself, wouldn't you say? That summer break is just what he needed.

He is getting older, something nobody can change. The decline is slow, but already evident. Expect five or six rebounds on an average night, low for power forwards but acceptable when considering the Mavericks' starting small forward grabs seven a night. Adding Kaman to the fold to help out Marion and Dirk should keep Dallas right at the top in defensive rebound (their rebounding issue is on the offensive end).

Dirk is not going to get as many freebies, anymore. Aggressive drives into the lane are great for some players, not so great for other 34-year old seven footers. Dirk will still get some trips to the line, as his pump fake commands as much respect as anyone's. Many of his drives to the lane, however, won't end at the rim, but in a pull-up jumper 10 feet away. To be honest, that shot might be even more accurate than his layup.

So yeah, Dirk isn't perfect (anymore). He's still going to be slow on defense, because his lateral movements didn't impress at 24 and certainly don't look any better ten years later. There's other things I could nit-pick on. But seriously, enough is enough. This is Dirk we're talking about.

That jump shot.

Pencil Dirk in for another year of 22 or 23 points a game, with shooting percentages returning to form (because 45/37/90 was such an embarrassment last year). Kaman and Brand down low means fewer minutes and fewer shots in quarters one, two and three. When it gets down to game time? Nothing's gonna change, there. When gifted with the deadliest jump shot in the game, there's not much to speculate about. He's going do Dirk things with his Dirk jumper, and people are just going to shake their heads and say, "Well...it's Dirk."

Get that knee well, Dirk. The season's coming. There's coaches out there that need to have sleepless nights trying to prepare for the Mavericks.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Mavs Moneyball

You must be a member of Mavs Moneyball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mavs Moneyball. You should read them.

Join Mavs Moneyball

You must be a member of Mavs Moneyball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mavs Moneyball. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker