(2) The famous and-1 layup against the Spurs (2006)
This isn't a game-winner, really, but it's still one of the most amazing clutch shots of Dirk's career. It's also one of those shots where if you watched it live, you probably remember where you were and how you felt.
For me, it was all about the crazy change in emotions. Mavs led Game 7 big early, crumbled in the third and fourth quarters and then Manu hit that 3-pointer. The arena was rocking, and me and my friends all wanted to throw up.
We were all just very downtrodden. We talked about maybe going for a quick two? Did it really matter? What was the point of life? A Manu three-pointer was going to be the death of us all.
So that's why it was so great when Dirk made it. It was so quick, so sudden, it took us a few seconds to process what happened. Also, the play went to help crush the "Dirk is a soft jump shooter" narrative that made me want to rip my hair out.
- Josh Bowe (@Boweman55)
(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)