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Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Did Dirk Nowitzki bust out the hook shot?


Seven-foot basketball players are just supposed to shoot hook shots. That's just the way it is. So over the years when Dirk Nowitzki has been asked about said shot and why one is not part of his arsenal, he would always answer by saying he's working on it.

And every now and then we'd see one.

Take a 2009 preseason game against Cleveland when he broke out the hook.

"I work on it all the time," Nowitzki said after that game. "To use it in a game-time situation, it's something different. Now it's preseason, a good time to swing one. But I don't know if it's ready."

Last postseason against the Lakers, with about a minute left in Game 3, Pau Gasol pushed Nowitzki left of the basket as a second defender charged at him. Nowitzki went to a lefty hook, if you can call it that, and found success.

"I was stuck a little bit and I slung something up there," Nowitzki said. "And it went in."

The hook doesn't come out often, so when Nowitzki went to the hook three, yes, three times Monday against the Denver Nuggets, it was almost not to be believed. Thank goodness for the invention of the DVR. Is Dirk adding the hook to his arsenal two-thirds the way through this lockout-shortened season?

Well, we'll see if it re-appears anytime soon.

His final hook against the Nuggets in the fourth quarter was especially pleasing to Nowitzki and surprisingly painful, it seemed, to Rodrigue Beaubois.

Nowitzki faced-up Denver center Kosta Koufos on the left wing and took him off the dribble to the middle of the lane. Nowitzki windmilled in an awkward-looking, yet highly effective running right-handed hook, and he drew the foul.

Fired up, Nowitzki aggressively high-fived Beaubois, who clearly, judging by his quick recoil, was not expecting such an exuberant celebration from the big fella.