The 2002-03 Dallas Mavericks are probably my favorite basketball team of all-time. Don Nelson running those wacky small-ball lineups with a young Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki was truly a sight to behold. Though completely unconventional and devoid of defense, this Mavericks squad could have pulled off an impressive title run had their efforts not been thwarted by an untimely Nowitzki injury.
Before that injury, a 24-year-old Dirk was annihilating his opponents in the playoffs. Dirk was a god among men during that first round series against Portland. He averaged 38 points a game through the first three games of that series, but then in typical Mavericks fashion, they allowed the Blazers to win the next three games before winning an incredibly tense Game 7.
This Dirk performance I unearthed from the deep dark crevices of the Internet is of his Game 3 performance in Portland where he tallied 42 points. As much as Nellie loved small ball, Dirk played a surprising amount of small forward in this game. No one on this Blazers squad—as lovable as they were—could even come close to guarding Nowitzki. Dirk's post game interview is quite possibly the most Dirk interview possible. David Aldridge—after Dirk just dropped his second 40-point game of the series—asks him if anyone on the Blazers squad can guard him. Dirk simply replies, "I think so." He's truly one of a kind.