There are rewards to consistent excellence. Here's a look at some of the milestones Dirk Nowitzki might hit over the course of this season:
Points: As of today, Dirk, with 25,121 points in his career, is 17th in NBA history. How many points might he score in a healthy season? Hard to say, but he's less than 500 points from 13th all time. It's not exactly likely but he's less than 1600 points from passing Hakeem for 10th all-time. That's about 19.5 points a game, if he plays every game. More likely, with consistent production, this would happen early next season.
Rebounds: Dirk was a good rebounder in his prime but it's probably the area of his game that's shown the biggest drop as time's gone on and he's averaging just 4.7 so far this season. Is 400 or 500 a reasonable number? 400 would put him in the top 40 all time, just behind Marcus Camby for 39th. He'll probably be passed by Dwight Howard this season, which would make him 40th, but still.
Free Throws: At 6,184, Dirk is currently 14th all time in made free throws. Although he's also drawing fouls at a much lower rate, these last two years, than previously, in his last healthy season (2011-2012), he still made more than 300 (which was considerably lower than previous years). 300 free throws would bring him to 6,484, good for 10th all time.
Three Pointers Made: Dirk is actually likely to take more three pointers rather than less, as they'll exact less toll on his body. Despite how many games he missed, he took more last year (157) then he took in 2009-2010 and just a few less than he took in the championship year (168). This one's tough to guess because so many of the players on this list are active (people take way more three-pointers now than they used to ), but ceteris paribus, 70 3-pointers would put Dirk at 1417, just ahead of Brent Barry for 23rd all time.
Field Goals Made: Dirk, with 8,795, is 19th all-time in FGM. Last year, he made 343 so a number like 450 is likely enough given health. If so, he'd finish the season at 9,245. This would only move him up a place or so, past Jerry West to 18th place. But it's certainly another category he could retire in the top 10 in, given health and a few more years.
Many more to come, big guy.