Dirk Nowitzki is beginning to find a rhythm. After starting the season slowly, he's taken time off and looks to be performing better as a result. Dirk Nowitzki is averaging 30 PPG in his last two contests (though he was inefficient last night vs. Boston) and the Mavs are going to him with regularity. What does Dirk Nowitzki need to do to continue performing better?
Dirk Nowitzki needs to be less predictable and understand when to pass out of double teams better. Dirk Nowitzki is predictable at times. He will get the ball inside the three point line and, as a defense can understand, he'll commence posting and take a crazy fadeaway jumper. Dirk Nowitzki has the ability to make these shots no doubt. A key reason is when he fades, he eludes the defender. When Dirk Nowitzki faces taller, more adept defenders and teams (the Celtics are dealing with injuries right now), his slow and simple decision making won't be as effective. Dirk Nowitzki would be better suited getting into his moves more quickly.
Simply decide which array of options is best, get into that move and execute. Watching Dirk Nowitzki operate, it feels more like he decides what he'd like to do, waits five seconds just to get into the move and then puts up his shot. Against a short handed, non elite team, that's fine. What Dirk Nowitzki must fool himself into thinking is each game is a finals game and each team is elite. Someone needs to hypnotize Dirk Nowitzki and he will be even more of a talent. Sounds simple enough, right?
Seriously, Dirk Nowitzki surely knows he's still not where he needs to be. Every player saves a gear or two for the primetime. He's no different. This is just a friendly critique of his play. Hard to believe this is a finals MVP and All-Star can do better, right? No. Each and every player has places where improvement is necessary.
Dirk Nowitzki's passing out of double teams is solid. Certainly better than Andrew Bynum's passing. There are times when Dirk Nowitzki needs to give the ball up. Things get clogged up in the lane, guys are open for J's and the ball doesn't get out to them. While this will happen every game, it needs to be minimized. Rick Carlisle, Mavs coach, will echo this message. Dirk Nowitzki does a darn good job at this. Consider his size and skill and then you will be surprised he can even shoot as well as he can.
Just want Dirk Nowitzki to have an increased awareness of his need to pass. That way, the shooters have more ideas of when and where to expect the ball. All of this is for the better of the Mavericks.
Can Dirk Nowitzki show even more greatness than he has in past seasons? Yeah, he's still got more he can prove. He needs to speed up his offense and pass out of doubles a bit better. No major improvements or adjustments are necessary. Dirk Nowitzki has come around a bunch this season, but there's places where work is still needed. Dirk Nowitzki will be ready. He's got the second half of the season to fully round into form. Expect to see more amazing games from Dirk Nowitzki if the Mavs need it.
Get more great NBA stuff over at NBAtipoff.