Let me just come out and say it.
Dirk Nowitzki is the best player in this series.
Are you surprised?
He is averaging 28 points and 10 rebounds a game against the Lakers.
In fact, he is second in the NBA in scoring for the entire playoffs.
So let me ask: Is Dirk the best player in the world?
How many people would mention Dirk's name when they list the top five players in the world?
Do you think he would even crack most people's top ten list?
It's crazy to think how much he gets overlooked.
If you think about it, he's kind of like a 7 foot version of Paul Pierce.
Not super athletic. But super skilled, super crafty. Most importantly, he makes big shots.
He's also like Pierce in another manner.
Can you guess what his trade mark move is?
How do you stop that?
I heard Charles Barkley say the other day (who has always been a big fan of Dirk's) that he puts Nowitzki in the same class as Hakeem Olajuwon. He continued by saying both players take shots (fade-aways) that have a high degree of difficulty. But unfortunately for defenders, those shots are actually what they do best.
Not to harp on an old theme, but Dirk Nowitzki embodies the importance of having a mid-range jumper.
Furthermore, he presents another case study of how to utilize the step-back jumper.
Look how he uses it to body Pau Gasol at the end of game two and seal the win:
The truth is, Dirk has been this great, for a long time. We just choose not to recognize it.
Think about this: in the last decade only one team has made it out of the western conference besides the the Lakers and Spurs.
It was Dallas in '06.
That stat alone is amazing.
And you can't tell me that Dirk has had a star studded supporting cast by his side.
Sure, he has a solid squad, but you almost almost always need a star side-kick to win a chip.
Of course, that's the reason LeBron made his 'decision.'
Now think about the 'Dirk-cision'
He could have left Dallas over the summer, perhaps to team-up with another star as well.
But he stayed and stuck it out. Now look at him.
And how ironic would it be if Dallas faces Miami in the finals?
Dirk said in a recent interview he always thinks about the '06 finals and that all he wants is "another chance at the 'big shot' in the finals."
He is "desperate" for it.
Another chance for Dirk?
Did he ever think it may be against the same team?
Think about that.
It would be the 'redeem' team vs. the 'dream team.'
Can he seal the deal this time?