As you might presently yourself fully be aware of, Dirk's offensive game is based almost entirely around his jumpshot. He's capable of doing other things, such as posting up, running the floor and driving to the basket, but even then, most of those things are set up by the jumpshot. When he posts up, it's usually a fallaway. When he runs the break, a pullup jumpshot is entirely possible. And when he drives to the basket, it's usually because your defender played him too close trying to prevent the jumpshot opportunity.
It's one of the best jumpshots in the Western world, too, and Dirk's combination of height and athleticism allows him to get off any jumpshot he so chooses. (As do the ridiculous fallaways that he hits disconcertingly often.) Dirk also can finish around the rim, passes the ball well, and draws a huge amount of fouls, due in no small part to one of the best up-fakes in the world. He's one of the most complete offensive players of all time, and definitely one of the best scoring big men.
Nowitzki's also a solid defender, who doesn't try as hard on that end (because no elite scorers do), but who can stay in front of most people and body you up without fouling. He doesn't offensive rebound a lot - that's hard to do when you spend so much time 18 or more feet away from the rim - but he's a good defensive rebounder, and not nearly as bad defensively as he's made out to be. He's also not as bad of a clutch player as he's made out to be; although his record on last second shots isn't great, he has no fear in the rest of the fourth quarter, and scores big.
Dirk Nowitzki won the MVP award in the 2006/07 season, embarassingly receiving the award just after his Mavericks had made NBA history by being the first #1 seed to be knocked out by a #8 seed (the Warriors). A lot of people said that Dirk wasn't deserving of the award that season, that other players had been better, that he had been the best player on the best regular season team but not the league's most valuable player. And they're probably right. But when you play to the standard that Dirk has, for as long as Dirk has, then you deserve an MVP award. If only as a lifetime achievement award.
- 8th November, 2009.