Postgame: Dirk Nowitzki
Mavs F Dirk Nowitzki basks in the glow of his immaculate 31-point performance Wednesday night against the Clippers.
We already know Dirk Nowitzki has been scorching this season, but sometimes the best way to fully understand how special a player is comes when you compare him to his peers. Doing that with Dirk this season is pretty eye-opening: Not only is he having a bonkers year, but he’s arguably been the most efficient player in the NBA.
For example, against the Clippers, Nowitzki scored 31 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and hit five three-pointers. According to Basketball-Reference, at 37 years old he’s the oldest player ever to do it.
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Dirk is one of five players in NBA history to have multiple 30-point, 10-rebound, 5-three games at age 30 or older. He’s also the only player ever to do it twice at 35 or older.
Nowitzki is shooting a career-high 56.9 percent on two-pointers and a career-high 51.6 percent on three-pointers. His 63.1 effective field goal percentage is also the highest mark of his career.
This is his shot chart.
The German has two games this season where he’s scored at least 25 points on fewer than 15 shots. He now has nine such games when that’s been the case after his 35th birthday. Only Karl Malone (13) has done it more times. (Nowitzki has done it 43 times in his career, tied for sixth-most since the 1985-86 season.)
So far this season, Nowitzki is scoring 1.269 points per possession. That is insane. So insane, in fact, that he leads all NBA players in points per possession among guys who use at least 10 possessions per game. He and reigning MVP Stephen Curry are the only two players in the league averaging at least 1.2 points per possession who have used at least 100 total possessions.
At one point against the Pelicans on Saturday, Nowitzki was 2-of-10 from the field. Since that moment, he’s 24-of-33. To take things further, he was 1-of-7 against the Pelicans on Tuesday night. Since then, he’s 17-of-20.
The Mavs scored 142.9 points per 100 possessions last night when Nowitzki played, according to NBA Stats. On the season, Dallas is scoring at a clip of 109.2 points per 100 when he’s on the floor. Only two teams are scoring more efficiently than that this season.
Nowitzki is shooting 57.1 percent following a pass this season, including 57.1 percent on twos and 57.1 percent on threes. How’s that for consistent? Both marks lead the team among all players with at least 2.0 field goal attempts per game.