(7) Doesn't miss twice on Conference Finals (2011)
Up 3-1 on the Thunder, with the opportunity to get back to the finals, and face either the Heat or Bulls, the Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki needed one shot to make it happen. Countless times we've seen the Big German save the day, so we could expect the same again, right?!
Down 94-92 with 1:24 left on the clock, the Mavs ran an out of bounds play to free up the face of the franchise for a WIDE OPEN three. No way would he miss such a look with the stakes so high.
To all our disbelief, he missed it. One of the greatest shooters in NBA history missed a shot he's made countless times in various situations. This must mean it just isn't meant to be, the Thunder will now hold on to this game, and find a way to eventually eliminate the Mavs.
But OKC gave him another chance to break their hearts. They botched the rebound and we see the ball swing from Terry to Kidd to Marion and finally back into the hands of the Hero, who walked right into his favorite shot at the top of the 3-point line. Splash, swish, nothing but net. 95-94 with 1:14 left, Dirk set the table for the Mavs second Final birth in five seasons.
- Rami Michail (@RamiMichail)
(10) Reggie Evans can't stop the turnaround J (2009)
What a freaking shot. Dirk has 4.3 seconds on the clock, and he has to do it all. The Mavericks run Terry off a curl, but he's covered, so the play defaults to "get Dirk the ball." Kidd inbounds it to him, but it requires Dirk to come out all the way past the 3-point line.
The general rule is that you can take as many dribbles as there are seconds left on the clock. Dirk rips across Evans face to get to his strong side and then just dribbles three times, to be safe. He spins one way, and then back the other. Reggie Evans does all he can, but "all he can" isn't usually an effective defense when trying to guard Dirk.
The buzzer expires moments before the shot goes in, and Antoine Wright and Gerald Green are the first two Mavericks there to mob Dirk, because of course. Just an all-around great shot.
- Tim Cato (@tim_cato)