Not that anyone is noticing, but the Dallas Mavericks lost at home on Wednesday night against the Brooklyn Nets. The Mavs are 32-36, and four wins behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
There are many reasons for this reality - cough-cough Tyson Chandler cough-cough - but one of the bigger is the decline of Dirk Nowitzki. He is either not looking for his shot, the ball is being forced out of his hands, age (34), the recovering from his surgery thing, etc. All of the reasons are legit, but what we are seeing is the worst season for Dirk since he was a rookie.
Dirk is averaging 16.4 points per game, his lowest since he was a rookie in 1998-'99 when he averaged 8.2 points.
The most alarming number is that he is averaging just 13.2 shots per game, his lowest since that first season. That figure is tied with guard O.J. Mayo to lead the team. This shouldn't even be a contest; Dirk should he averaging around 16 to 17 shots per game, which is the approximate average for his career.
Against the Nets, he had 10 field goal attempts (made 8) while Chris Kaman and Mike James each attempted more shots. That's insane.
Right now Mayo leads the team in scoring at 16.7 points per game.
The last time Dirk didn't lead the Mavs in scoring was 1999-2000 when Michael Finley had that dinstinction.
You want to win more, get the ball in the hands of your best player and let him do his thing.
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