OK, here's the setup. It's the middle of the first quarter, and Dirk has started the game three for three. Jon Barry decides that it's a good time to point out the one thing causing the Mavs inability to win it all. Summarizing:
'Dirk is off to a hot start and you'll notice that they were all jump shots. And that's really the Mavs problem. Dirk, their star, their best player, doesn't get to the free throw line enough.'
Let's just ignore the general premise of his statement that the Mavs issues have anything to do with Dirk, who at times has looked a little disinterested this year, but who is also top 5 in scoring and has carried the team for large stretches. Barry wants to say that Dallas shoots too many jump shots? No problem. He wants to say that Dirk sometimes isn't aggressive enough offensively? No problem. But to say the problem is the number of free throws Dirk attempts is absolute insanity.
Dirk is scoring 26ppg this season and he's doing it while shooting 47.7% - actually little low by his standards. He's shooting at a higher percentage than Dwyane Wade, Paul Pierce, and Kobe Bryant.
And you know what else he's doing? He's getting to the free throw line. He always has. He's 15th in the league this year at FTA per game. Last year he was 11th. He's finished top 15 in that category since the 04/05 season when he was fifth. For a better a perspective on where he stands compared the league "greats", coming into the Detroit game, Dirk had attempted just 16 less free throws on the season than Kobe and done so in one less game.
On the list of things Dallas could improve to most help their chances, Dirk shooting more free throws isn't even top 20. Thing like playing defense and "showing up" are slightly more important to this team. Dirk can keep being Dirk.