DALLAS, TX - JUNE 09: Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks runs back on defense after he dunked the ball late in the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center on June 9, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
1 Total Update since June 12, 2011
almost 2 years ago Update 0 comments
With the final buzzer of Sunday night’s game featuring the Dallas Mavericks’ historic 105-95 victory over the Miami Heat in the final game of the 2011 NBA Finals, several players receive their first NBA rings. And while it’s a memorable occasion for many, it’s a step forward into a truly elite circle for team star Dirk Nowitzki.
In his career, Nowitzki has averaged 23 points per game in over 1000 games over 13 seasons. In that time, he’s also averaged 8.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists. Along the way, he’s won one MVP Award (2007), played in 10 All-Star Games and played on 11 All-NBA Teams. In the process, he created hope for every European prospect along the way to become the next great NBA star.
While he was already in elite company, Nowitzki still had yet to take the next step into the inner circle of truly great NBA players. Like Kevin Garnett did two years ago with his first NBA Championship after coming over to the Boston Celtics, Nowitzki now makes good on his long tenure with the Dallas Mavericks. If there were any questions lingering about his Hall of Fame credentials, those are no longer being asked.
Now the only questions being asked about Dirk Nowitzki are about just how truly great he is. Despite a bad shooting night in Game 6, there’s no doubting his greatness in both this series and the 2011 playoffs.
almost 2 years ago Update 0 comments
Sunday evening will be put up or shut up time for the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, as the Dallas Mavericks now face the opportunity to defeat the team many assumed would be cutting down the nets at the end of the season.
For Dallas they have been driven by catalyst Dirk Nowitzki all series long, and look for much of the same on Sunday night. Nowitzski has been averaging 27 points and 9.4 rebounds per game during the finals, and has amped it up a notch in the fourth quarter of the series scoring 44 points, which is more than Dwyane Wade and LeBron James have combined over the first five games. Dirk has also been a remarkable 43-of-44 at the free throw line thus far.
The 32-year old German simply looks like a man on a mission, as he tries to bring a first title to Dallas, and avenging a loss to the Heat in his only other trip to the NBA Finals, back in 2006. With Nowitzki and 38-year old Jason Kidd, the timing is now for the Mavericks and they must win the the title this year as their window is likely closing with the current group. Couple that with the fact Miami is still learning to play together and their star trio of Wade, James, and Chris Bosh are still in their primes, it will be a tall task for many NBA teams to get past the Heat in the upcoming years.
As for Miami, they will be hoping the home crowd combined their star power will help them grind out a Game 6 victory. If the series extends to a seventh game, you certainly have to like the odds of the Heat winning their second ever NBA title. The Heat will have gained momentum and have the home town fans behind them, making it a tough task for Dallas.
In game six look for Dirk to continue doing what he has done all series long, as the Mavericks will look to get the ball in the hands of their star player as much as possible. For Miami, they will need to get more out of James than they have thus far, and Wade must step up and be the leader of the team, much like he did in the Boston series.
Game 6 coverage begins in Miami at 7:00 CST.