DALLAS, Texas - Statistics often lie, specifically the scale when I step on it, and in the case of Dirk Nowitzki the numbers ain't great.
In the first four games of the NBA playoffs, Dirk is averaging 16 points on .385 percent shooting with 6.8 rebounds. He has not scored 20 points in any of the Mavs' first four games, which makes the fact their series is tied at two against Los Spurs De San Antonio all the more impressive.
According to the Star-Telegram's Dwain Price, "The only other time Nowitzki has gone four straight playoff games without scoring at least 20 points was in 2001, when he failed to reach that plateau in the final game of a first-round series against Utah and in the first three games of a second-round series against the Spurs."
Dirk has become a compliment to Monta Ellis. If the Mavs are going to win this series, at some point Dirk must become Die Mann once or twice. But he is 35, and do not believe just because he is a "great shooter" that he can just drain long jumpers forever. That's the lie all great shooters tell themselves. Eventually, the jumpers start to miss because a basketball game is not H-O-R-S-E, I-T or P-I-G.
"He's had some (quality chances). I'm working to get him some more," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "In the playoffs, a lot of the game comes down to playing out of flow. There are some situations he gets caught late (shot) clock and it's not just as simple as that."
Maybe it's age. Maybe it's the Spurs defense. Maybe Dirk is simply going through a cold stretch.
Whatever it is, if the Mavs are going to win, Die Mann has to return once or twice.
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