DALLAS -- Ideally, a team's best player will likely be guaranteed to take a bushel of shots.
But that's not the case with Dirk Nowitzki.
The Dallas Mavericks' superstar forward is averaging just 13 shots per game. That's the lowest single-season total for Nowitzki since Rick Carlisle became coach in 2008.
Certainly, teams stack the defensive deck on Nowitzki and try to take the ball out of his hands, or prevent him from getting it at all. But there must be other ways to help the 11-time All-Star get more shot attempts.
“We'd like to get as many isolations off of movement that we can and the best ones are the ones that happen off of random flow movement,'' Carlisle said. "It’s a delicate thing,
"Guys have to understand nuances, they have to understand the areas to throw it so that he can catch and go. He can catch and go, fake one dribble and things like that.''
Getting adjusted to the nuances of the nine new players has to be an adjustment for Nowitzki. Perhaps that explains what happened last year when the Mavs brought in nine new faces, and Nowitkzi averaged just 13.7 shots per game -- down from 16.7 shots the previous season.
Monta Ellis leads the Mavs with 119 field goal attempts, Nowitzki has 92 and Shawn Marion has 88. In order for the Mavs to experience major success, Nowitzki's attempts obviously must increase as the season progresses.
"In terms of mid-range shooting he may be the best that’s ever played the game,'' Carlisle said. "And so when those shots are there he’s got to step into them.''
Here are Dirk Nowitzki's shot attempts since Rick Carlisle became the Mavs' coach in 2008.
Season..........Shot attempts per game
-- Dwain Price
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