Dirk Nowitzki's not money at the line?

November, 4, 2010
Dirk Nowitzki is the NBA's top-scoring forward through the first 10 days or so, averaging 26.5 points in four games, while shooting better than 60 percent from the floor.

Neither stat is particularly surprising as the Dallas Mavericks' perennial All-Star gets off to another fast start after relaxing over the summer instead of playing international basketball for his home country.

What is strange is Nowitzki's free-throw percentage. What might be a solid number for many players, Nowitzki's 77.3 percent from the stripe -- which ranks him 91st in the NBA -- draws curious looks (also of note is that Nowitzki has averaged just 5.5 free throw attempts in the first four games).

For an entire season, Nowitzki has finished below 83 percent just once, his rookie year when he shot an identical 77.3 percent.

Nowitzki went 6-of-6 from the free throw line in the opener against Charlottle. Then he went 2-of-4 and 4-of-6 against Memphis and the Clippers, respectively. It was the first time that Nowitzki missed at least two free throws in back-to-back games since Jan. 17-18, 2010.

Nowitzki made 5-of-6 Wednesday in Denver. The one he missed was a technical foul attempt stemming from a defensive 3-seconds. It marked the first time that Nowitzki missed at least one free throw in three consecutive games since March 6-8-10, 2010.

Just how money is Nowitzki from the foul line? Last season he shot a career-best 91.5 percent, the third time in his career to finish better than 90 percent. Over the past eight seasons, he hasn't shot below 86.9 percent.

It's only four games. Don't be surprised to find his free throw percentage back near 90 percent in the very near future.



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Dirk Nowitzki
21.6 2.7 0.9 32.7
ReboundsS. Dalembert 6.8
AssistsM. Ellis 5.8
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.2