clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Relive Dirk Nowitzki's first 30-point playoff game of his career

We go in the wayback machine to the Utah Jazz series in 2001.

In 2001, an unassuming, shaggy-haired Dirk Nowitzki made his NBA playoff debut against an experienced Utah Jazz team. Dirk struggled in his first two playoff games matching up with the overbearingly strong Karl Malone. However, after a visit from his shooting guru Holger Geschwinder, Dirk corrected course in Game 3 going for 33 points in the Mavericks first playoff victory in over a decade.

It's easy to forget how incredible the 2001 Utah was considering the infancy of that Mavericks roster. Both Steve Nash and Michael Finley were in their athletic prime in 2001, but neither had any semblance of playoff experience. Dirk was but a mere 22-years old and in his third season in the NBA. He wasn't supposed to ascend to an all-star level at that stage in his career.

The video is a fun look at a very young Dirk still trying to figure out his game. It's funny to hear Bill Walton harp on Dirk's deficiencies as a post scorer. By the way, Mike Breen and Bill Walton were an incredible broadcasting duo; they should be brought back immediately.

Halfway through the video there's a brief Holger interview—he looks super young—where he details some of Dirk's struggles. It's a fun look at their dynamic early in Dirk's career. Enjoy.