Last night, Dirk Nowitzki turned his preseason debut into a reminder that just because he turned 36 over the summer, he's not looking like an old man anytime soon. He scored 16 points in his 19 minutes, all in the first half, and did it on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, with a couple of 3-pointers for good measure.
He also debuted his new shot release, following up news that he'd worked to quicken his jumper this summer. He's already seven feet and shoots the ball over his head, but apparently that wasn't enough -- Dirk needed to get even more lethal.
First, here's a reminder of what his jumper looked like last season.
And here's his first jumper of this season, coming off a down pick from Tyson Chandler (that alone should make you giddy) and hoisting it with defenders in his face.
Yup, that's quicker. In last season's shot, you can see a distinct 1-2 -- ball reaches behind his head, pauses for a moment and then his elbow propels forward to launch the shot. With his new mechanics, it's a little more fluid and he doesn't bring the ball back as far. It's not much, but with two defenders barreling down on him like on the shot above, every inch counts.
To put another way: HOLY CRAP DIRK IS EVEN SCARIER NOW.
Here's the two gifs put together in the
quickest laziest way possible, Vine.
Look out, NBA.