Dallas Mavericks: All-Star Game

Dirk goes scoreless in All-Star shootout

February, 16, 2014
Feb 16
10:24
PM CT
Dirk Nowitzki kept saying his style wasn’t suited for the All-Star Game when he was young, so it certainly isn’t at age 35.

Just in case there was any doubt, Nowitzki finished the highest-scoring All-Star Game in history as the lone scoreless player on either team.

[+] EnlargeDirk Nowitzki
Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY SportsWith 26,179 points in the books, Dirk Nowitzki was the highest career scorer of any player in an All-Star uniform Sunday. And after the East beat the West, he also was the only player not to score in the game.

There were 135 field goals in the East's 165-155 win during Sunday's midseason showcase. Nowitzki had none of them.

In a contest that featured the aerial acrobatics expected in an All-Star Game, Nowitzki did manage to get a couple of jumpers up. He missed a baseline midrange shot and a corner 3-point attempt.

The only other stat Nowitzki recorded was a rebound, which might not make the highlight reels.

It’s safe to assume that Nowitzki wasn’t sweating his failure to score in his 12th All-Star appearance. He accomplished his main goal for the game, which was keeping his minutes to a minimum. His 8:26 was the lowest playing time for any All-Star this season, and he didn’t play a second in the second half.

Nowitzki scored a total of 108 points in his previous 11 All-Star appearances, including 22 in 2010, when he was the unofficial host of All-Star Weekend in Dallas. His 26,179 career points are the most by any player who was in an All-Star uniform Sunday.

Appreciate Dirk as he ages gracefully

February, 14, 2014
Feb 14
11:00
AM CT
Don’t expect to see much of Dirk Nowitzki during Sunday’s All-Star Game.

Nowitzki would be fine with just playing a handful of minutes during his 12th All-Star appearance, getting up a few shots and grabbing a seat to watch the high-risers on the West roster put on a show. His 35-year-old legs can use all the rest they can get, and Nowitzki knows nobody tunes into the All-Star Game to see midrange jumpers.

“It wasn’t even really my type of game when I was young,” Nowitzki said, “so it definitely isn’t my type of game now that I’m old.”

Nowitzki
Tom Pennington/Getty ImagesMavericks star Dirk Nowitzki is making his 12th All-Star Game appearance.
Nowitzki has never been an entertainer, not a guy who fills up highlight reels with astonishing athletic feats. He’s a hardwood artist, a revolutionary player who requires a certain level of basketball sophistication to fully appreciate.

That’s why Mavericks fans should savor the next few seasons, regardless of whether the front office succeeds in its mission of constructing a roster around Nowitzki that gives him a chance to compete for another championship.

It’s not often that you get to watch an all-time great put the finishing touches on a career that changed the game. It might be even more rare for those finishing touches to be as beautiful as those Nowitzki is putting on the canvas now.

This 12th All-Star appearance was no lifetime achievement award from the Western Conference coaches. Nowitzki remains one of the most impactful offensive players in the league, and precious few have been so good while being so old. He’s on pace to join Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Elgin Baylor, Alex English and Michael Jordan as the only players in NBA history to average at least 21 points per game at age 35 and older.

And it should come as no surprise if Nowitzki , who ranks 13th on the all-time scoring list now and has a legitimate chance to become the sixth member of the 30,000-point club, joins Abdul-Jabbar and Malone as the only players in NBA history to have more than one such season.

The big German has the game to age extraordinarily gracefully. As Mark Cuban half-kiddingly points out, it’s not like Nowitzki ever had a lot of athleticism in the first place. He’ll be 7 feet tall the rest of his career (and life, for that matter). He’ll always be able to knock down open jumpers in his sleep. And the unique work ethic that has allowed Nowitzki to maximize his potential is just part of his wiring.

There has never been a player who had Nowitzki’s combination of size and shooting touch. Not that NBA teams haven’t searched the globe to find those guys. The term “stretch 4” was coined because of all the copycat power forwards with perimeter-based games.

But part of the beauty of Dirk is the way his game has evolved over the years. Often criticized as soft because he wasn’t a low-block threat early in his career, he’s developed into one of the most lethal back-to-the-basket scorers in a most unconventional fashion.

That one-legged fadeaway perfected by Nowitzki is this generation’s sky hook, an unblockable shot fit for a statue. It’s a remarkably difficult shot that Dirk makes look easy.

A few of the league’s elite scorers -- Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant -- worked for summers to add it to their repertoires, an ultimate sign of respect for the face of the Mavs’ franchise. But nobody can shoot it with all the different variations of footwork and from all the different angles like Nowitzki.

Maybe Nowitzki will knock down one of those one-leggers in Sunday’s midseason showcase, which might be his last All-Star appearance. Maybe not on both counts. But there will be many more from him in a Mavs uniform.

There won’t be many more All-Star minutes for Nowitzki, but there’s still plenty of time to appreciate the beauty of the big German’s game.
Dirk Nowitzki's streak of All-Star berths is certain to end after he missed the season's first 27 games, but he's still getting a little love from the voting public.

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Nowitzki ranks 13th among Western Conference frontcourt players with 106,623 votes, the most of any Maverick. No Dallas guard ranks among the top 10 in the West's backcourt balloting.

The top three in West frontcourt voting: Kevin Durant (1,088,797), Dwight Howard (716,671), Blake Griffin (593,024).

Nowitzki had been selected to the last 11 All-Star games, although never by fan vote. Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan are the only active players with more All-Star appearances.

Six-Pack: Statistical nuggets for second half

February, 27, 2012
2/27/12
10:51
AM CT
A six-pack of statistical nuggets to help get you reacquainted with the Mavericks as they return to work after All-Star Weekend:

*Steve Nash was back at Dirk Nowitzki’s side during Sunday night’s All-Star Game, but Nash is no longer in the top five in terms of regular-season games played as a Dirk teammate. Jason Terry has played 559 regular-season games alongside Nowitzki for the Mavs, followed by Michael Finley (471), Shawn Bradley (467), Erick Dampier (412) and Josh Howard (411).

*Nowitzki’s run of 11 consecutive All-Star selections is the second-longest active streak in the league. After Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan saw their respective runs of 14 and 13 end over the weekend, Dirk trails only Kobe Bryant’s 14 straight All-Star trips among active players. Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are next in line with eight straight All-Star trips.

*The Mavericks shot 46 percent from the 3-point line in their four-game playoff sweep of the Lakers. In this season’s two meetings? Dallas is shooting just 20.7 percent from long range against L.A.

*The loss to the Lakers in their final game before the All-Star break was the Mavs’ first this season in which they held a fourth-quarter lead at home. That leaves Chicago, Indiana and Oklahoma City as the only teams that haven’t lost at home after leading in the fourth quarter this season.

*Last Wednesday’s game was Kobe Bryant’s 52nd regular-season appearance against Dallas, breaking Bryant’s tie with James Worthy (51) for the most games against Dallas for any Laker.

*The Mavs still narrowly rank as the league’s second-oldest team with an average age of 30.0 … just behind Atlanta’s average age of 30.2.

Light All-Star night for Dirk Nowitzki

February, 26, 2012
2/26/12
9:35
PM CT


Mark Cuban was hoping for, oh, three minutes for his superstar, but he'll be happy with the 14 minutes Dirk Nowitzki logged jogging up and down Dwight Howard's home floor -- tick, tick, tick -- in Sunday night's All-Star Game.

In his 11th consecutive appearance as a West reserve, Nowitzki put up seven points on 3-of-8 shooting in the West's hang-on, 152-149 victory. True to his regular season, he wasn't feeling it from 3-point range, banging in just one of five attempts from downtown. He missed his first two in the first quarter, when he logged nearly half his total time.

Nowitzki would not be seen again until midway through the third quarter. He nailed his only 3-point attempt of the period and fed Tony Parker for a reverse layup, his lone assist of the game. He also finished with four rebounds, including two offensive boards.

Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant took home MVP honors having scored 36 points and his coach, West coach Scott Brooks, wasn't shy about playing his superstar, leaving him in for a game-high 37 minutes.

And Dirk seemed perfectly content playing what he did and cheering on his fellow All-Stars. After all, if Charles Barkley is right, Dirk doesn't have many of these left. Still, he was clearly enjoying himself if you couldn't tell by his towel-waving after Blake Griffin's monster dunk late in the fourth.

He enjoyed it enough to even share a postgame embrace with -- cough, cough -- Dwyane Wade, who recorded only the third triple-double in All-Star history.

Parker, Marc Gasol, Steve Nash, starting center Andrew Bynum and first-timer LaMarcus Aldridge all played fewer minutes than Nowitzki as the other four starters and reserve guard Russell Westbrook, one of Brooks' OKC boys, took on the heavy minutes.

Nowitzki heads back to Dallas for a 2:30 p.m. practice Monday as the Mavs begin the final 32 games of the season at home Tuesday against the New Jersey Nets.

Pick & Roll: Should Dirk Nowitzki be an All-Star?

February, 8, 2012
2/08/12
8:39
AM CT


ESPNDallas.com's Ben and Skin uncover the mystery behind the Mavericks' fountain of youth, and they discuss if Dirk Nowitzki should elected to the All-Star Game when reserves are announced Thursday.

Rick Carlisle: 'Dirk's back ... all the way back'

February, 18, 2011
2/18/11
9:34
AM CT
Before Wednesday night's home game, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Dirk Nowitzki was definitely coming around, but Cuban still didn't think his star was all the way back from the sprained right knee that sidelined him for nine games in late December and January.

One night later, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle had a different take. It came after Nowitzki lit up the Phoenix Suns for 35 points on 13-of-18 shooting, which included making three deep-knee-bend 3-pointers on three attempts (he's made five in a row over his last three games). It was his first 30-point game since Jan. 17 at Detroit, just two games into his return and one of the rare good shooting games he had over a 10-day stretch.

[+] EnlargeDirk Nowitzki
Jennifer Stewart/US PresswireDirk Nowitzki scored 35 points against Phoenix, just the second time he's had 30+ since returning from his injury. "Dirk's back," Rick Carlisle said. "He's all the way back, and it's great."
"Dirk’s back. He’s all the way back, and it’s great," Carlisle said. "It’s really good timing because now he has the All-Star break. He can recharge a little bit. He can play his 16 minutes in the All-Star Game or whatever it’s going to be. And he’s going to come back and get a day off on Monday. But, Dirk Nowitzki is back.”

If I'm Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, head coach of the Western Conference for Sunday's game in Los Angeles, I think long and hard about playing Nowitzki for the full 48 in his 10th consecutive All-Star appearance. The Mavs head into the break at 40-16, six games behind the Spurs, the number of games the Mavs lost while Nowitzki healed.

But, what if Nowitzki had never gotten hurt? Dallas was 2-7 without him and is 38-9 with him. The Spurs are 46-10.

The injury might keep the Mavs from contending for the West's No. 1 seed and it also took a bite out of Nowitzki's MVP campaign. His rusty return dropped his scoring average two points and his field-goal percentage two points. Still, it's not all that bad. Through 56 games, Nowitzki is averaging 22.7 points on a career-best 52.6-percent shooting. His 3-point percentage is up to 42.6 percent as he continues to get a healthy dose of wide-open, trailing 3s that seem automatic.

Even if Nowitzki is back to full strength, it is hard to say how many more 35-point games are in his future. On most nights, as this team is currently constructed, scoring is being spread around so unlike many teams in the Nowitzki era. Thursday's 112-106 win over the Suns was the 13th consecutive game that at least five Mavs have finished in double figures. The night before eight did it.

In the last six games, Nowitzki has posted 10, 12, 16, 22, 13 and 35 points, respectively, but the important number is his 51.9 percent shooting in those games. Dallas is 5-1 during that stretch with the lone loss coming on a buzzer-beater in Denver. Ironically, Nowitzki missed a late free-throw that would have put the Mavs up by two before the Nuggets' final possession.

As the Mavs head into their final 26 games, it is reassuring for them to know that when they do need 35, Nowitzki is capable of bringing it again.

Dirk gets to guard LeBron

February, 12, 2010
2/12/10
2:46
PM CT
DALLAS -- West coach George Karl greeted Dirk Nowitzki with an interesting way of confirming that the Mavs' star would take Kobe Bryant's place in the starting lineup.

"Good luck," Karl said, "you've got LeBron to start."

Dirk's reply: "Oh, sweet."

Dirk has some memorable defensive All-Star history against LeBron. King James threw down a ferocious dunk on Dirk in the All-Star game a couple of years ago. To Dirk's credit, he at least put forth a legit defensive effort on the play, perhaps not so wisely.

Sneak peek: Sunday's All-Star uniforms

February, 11, 2010
2/11/10
9:47
PM CT
NBA All-Star Game uniformsCourtesy of adidasWhat do you think of the NBA's latest All-Star uniforms?

This year's NBA All-Star Game at Cowboys Stadium will feature uniforms that seem pretty straightforward. Or are they?

Check out Paul Lukas' fashion analysis on Page 2 for a closer look at Sunday's garb.

The Come Up: 48 hours to show a pulse

February, 8, 2010
2/08/10
11:20
AM CT
Monday means “The Come Up” -- and with a shortened week due to the All-Star break, the next 48 hours will show those who closely follow this team who exactly is down to bunker up as opposed to who’s down to party and cash a check. It’s a tough mental test and requires enormous focus. And it go a 'lil summin like this:

This is how it should be done

Remember the last game Dallas played before the All-Star break last year? That was a true exhibition of mental toughness and the will to win. It was just that it was Boston that showed it. Here’s what Paul Pierce said after the game:

"It can go one of two ways. The coach is gone in the last game before the All-Star break, you can pack it in. But this group is very competitive. We're going to fight.''


With just over two minutes left in the third, Dirk had just scored his 31st point. He was killing KG, who had just gone to the bench with a tech and his fifth personal, and Doc Rivers had just gotten ejected with his two technicals. The Mavs were up nine against a tired team that was on the second night of a back-to-back (they’d beaten New Orleans the night before) on the Thursday before the All-Star break.

That’s a recipe for a mail-in if ever there was one, but that Boston team didn’t really get down like that. Pierce went for 18 in the fourth and Dallas lost 99-92. So why dredge all that up now? Because that’s something the Mavs can use to fuel these last two games.

I have a hard time believing a team that has guys like Dirk, J Kidd and JET isn’t interested in fighting. That week off is going to be a whole lot more fun going into it with two wins than it will be having lost six of seven. These next two games starting Monday at Golden State will show everyone if this cast of characters has collectively “packed it in.”

48-hour gut check

We saw Golden State a week ago. Monta Ellis careered but Dallas still won 110-101. The Warriors have only won nine times at home and they’re struggling badly right now having lost their last eight. It’s extremely important that the Mavs put away a bad team early so they can get their key guys some rest before Tuesday night’s match-up against Denver. That game is what is known as a “scheduling loss.”

Denver is a tough place to play for a number of reasons. The obvious is that the Nuggets are really good there, having only lost four times all season on their home floor. It’s a tough place to play on the second night of a back-to-back as it is, especially considering the thin air combined with the aggressive style of play Denver is so adept at employing at the Pepsi Center. These dudes take it to you.

The Nuggets will be well-rested, having not seen action since a Saturday night loss at Utah the night after beating the Lakers on their floor. They’ll also want to avenge the 104-96 loss they suffered to the Mavs in Denver on Dec. 27. Dallas will be mentally and physically tired and one day away from a week away from hoops with a schedule loaded with celebrity bashes in their own backyard.

It’s an easy game to lose. They’ll be expected to lose. The schedule shrugs its shoulders and says “too bad.” But it’s also a unique opportunity for a team that a lot of folks are thinking has very little left in the tank for the remainder of this season. It can go one of two ways over the next 48. They can pack it in or they can fight. It’ll be a chance to see just how competitive these guys really are.

Dirk loses ground again in All-Star voting

January, 7, 2010
1/07/10
1:36
PM CT
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki's status as a starter for the All-Star game in his adopted hometown continues to slip.

In the fourth returns of the voting, which were released Thursday, Nowitzki leads San Antonio's Tim Duncan by about 50,000 votes for the Western Conference's second starting forward spot. Nowitzki has lost ground to Duncan in the last two returns.

The starters will be announced Jan. 21. Paper balloting ends Jan. 10, while wireless balloting and voting on NBA.com continue until Jan. 18.

The results so far:

Eastern Conference

Forwards: LeBron James (Cle) 1,769,287; Kevin Garnett (Bos) 1,467,365; Chris Bosh (Tor) 724,317; Paul Pierce (Bos) 366,234; Josh Smith (Atl) 334,338; Andre Iguodala (Phi) 228,343; Danny Granger (Ind) 213,371; Michael Beasley (Mia) 188,552; Rashard Lewis (Orl) 151,717; Hedo Turkoglu (Tor) 133,445; Caron Butler (Was) 110,003.

Guards: Dwyane Wade (Mia) 1,719,359; Allen Iverson (Phi) 930,713; Vince Carter (Orl) 745,581; Ray Allen (Bos) 510,885; Gilbert Arenas (Was) 445,473; Derrick Rose (Chi) 385,829; Joe Johnson (Atl) 329,100; Rajon Rondo (Bos) 269,566; Jose Calderon (Tor) 157,354; Mike Bibby (Atl) 155,078.

Centers: Dwight Howard (Orl) 1,681,897; Shaquille O'Neal (Cle) 609,486; Al Horford (Atl) 178,360; Andrea Bargnani (Tor) 168,684; Brook Lopez (NJ) 154,362; Andrew Bogut (Mil) 143,545; Jermaine O'Neal (Mia) 111,065; Rasheed Wallace (Bos) 87,590; Kendrick Perkins (Bos) 56,598; Samuel Dalembert (Phi) 53,880; Tyson Chandler (Cha) 44,279; Brad Miller (Chi) 40,182.

Western Conference

Forwards: Carmelo Anthony (Den) 1,568,259; Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 826,130; Tim Duncan (SA) 776,225; Pau Gasol (LAL) 754,070; Kevin Durant (OKC) 556,847; Trevor Ariza (Hou) 504,725; Luis Scola (Hou) 437,944; Shawn Marion (Dal) 295,310; Ron Artest (LAL) 266,554; Lamar Odom (LAL) 194,567; LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 177,663.

Guards: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 1,793,782; Tracy McGrady (Hou) 746,625; Steve Nash (Pho) 744,250; Chris Paul (NO) 701,417; Aaron Brooks (Hou) 443,369; Jason Kidd (Dal) 429,720; Chauncey Billups (Den) 310,281; Deron Williams (Utah) 285,185; Manu Ginobili (SA) 261,107; Brandon Roy (Por) 257,231; Tony Parker (SA) 248,951.

Centers: Amar'e Stoudemire (Pho) 1,304,470; Andrew Bynum (LAL) 743,182; Nene (Den) 261,295; Marc Gasol (Mem) 217,675; Antonio McDyess (SA) 157,346; Al Jefferson (Min) 146,773; Greg Oden (Por) 136,388; Marcus Camby (LAC) 121,981; Andris Biedrins (GS) 102,095; Mehmet Okur (Utah) 96,897; Emeka Okafor (NO) 94,685; Spencer Hawes (Sac) 31,767.

Dirk's lead narrows in All-Star voting

December, 31, 2009
12/31/09
1:33
PM CT
TThe Dallas Mavericks are second in the West in large part because Dirk Nowitzki has been dominant down the stretch of close games.

Now, the big German needs fans to finish strong to get him in the starting lineup of the All-Star game in his adopted hometown.

In the updated voting, Dirk is still in position to start at forward for the West, but San Antonio's Tim Duncan and LA Lakers' Pau Gasol have closed the gap.

Denver's Carmelo Anthony (1,410,356 votes) has one starting forward spot essentially locked up. Nowitzki (753,971) has a slim lead over Duncan (685,390) and Gasol (667,767).

Dirk's buddy Steve Nash needs some help from the fans, too, to right what would be an awful All-Star wrong. Tracy McGrady, who has hardly played for the Rockets this season and will probably never steo foot on the floor for them again, leads Nash by less than 1,000 votes for the West's second starting guard spot.

Paper balloting continues through Jan. 10. Wireless balloting and voting on NBA.com continues through Jan. 18.

The complete update:

Eastern Conference

Forwards: LeBron James (Cle) 1,579,530; Kevin Garnett (Bos) 1,317,739; Chris Bosh (Tor) 644,473; Paul Pierce (Bos) 320,499; Josh Smith (Atl) 293,680; Andre Iguodala (Phi) 201,312; Danny Granger (Ind) 198,478; Michael Beasley (Mia) 163,737; Hedo Turkoglu (Tor) 117,168; Rashard Lewis (Orl) 114,359; Caron Butler (Was) 99,079.

Guards: Dwyane Wade (Mia) 1,539,968; Allen Iverson (Phi) 806,749; Vince Carter (Orl) 651,134; Ray Allen (Bos) 452,708; Gilbert Arenas (Was) 407,581; Derrick Rose (Chi) 344,435; Joe Johnson (Atl) 288,841; Rajon Rondo (Bos) 237,648; Mike Bibby (Atl) 139,484; Jose Calderon (Atl) 138,479.

Centers: Dwight Howard (Orl) 1,479,625; Shaquille O'Neal (Cle) 536,681; Al Horford (Atl) 157,050; Andrea Bargnani (Tor) 146,595; Brook Lopez (NJ) 133,106; Andrew Bogut (Mil) 115,915; Jermaine O'Neal (Mia) 98,397; Rasheed Wallace (Bos) 77,848; Kendrick Perkins (Bos) 48,612; Samuel Dalembert (Phi) 47,135; Tyson Chandler (Cha) 38,337; Brad Miller (Chi) 35,295.

Western Conference

Forwards: Carmelo Anthony (Den) 1,410,356; Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 753,971; Tim Duncan (SA) 685,390; Pau Gasol (LAL) 667,767; Kevin Durant (OKC) 474,506; Trevor Ariza (Hou) 436,088; Luis Scola (Hou) 371,914; Shawn Marion (Dal) 282,421; Ron Artest (LAL) 234,618; Lamar Odom (LAL) 175,271; LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 155,933.

Guards: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 1,606,032; Tracy McGrady (Hou) 649,563; Steve Nash (Pho) 648,558; Chris Paul (NO) 622,619; Jason Kidd (Dal) 405,027; Aaron Brooks (Hou) 374,635; Chauncey Billups (Den) 281,911; Deron Williams (Utah) 255,059; Brandon Roy (Por) 224,350; Manu Ginobili (SA) 222,743; Jason Terry (Dal) 212,242.

Centers: Amar'e Stoudemire (Pho) 1,143,849; Andrew Bynum (LAL) 676,634; Nene (Den) 235,276; Marc Gasol (Mem) 190,476; Antonio McDyess (SA) 130,058; Greg Oden (Por) 124,037; Al Jefferson (Min) 119,580; Marcus Camby (LAC) 100,399; Andris Biedrins (GS) 90,464; Mehmet Okur (Utah) 87,838; Emeka Okafor (NO) 82,616; Spencer Hawes (Sac) 25,109.

Dirk still on pace to be All-Star starter

December, 24, 2009
12/24/09
4:41
PM CT
If the All-Star voting stopped today, the hometown team would have a representative in the starting lineup.

Dirk Nowitzki ranks second among Western Conference forwards in the second returns of All-Star balloting. He has received 668,243 votes, which gives him a lead of over 100,000 over the Lakers' Pau Gasol.

Here are the starting lineups as of now:

EAST

F -- LeBron James, Cleveland
F -- Kevin Garnett, Boston
C -- Dwight Howard, Orlando
G -- Dwyane Wade, Miami
G -- Allen Iverson, Philadelphia

WEST

F -- Carmelo Anthony, Denver
F -- Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas
C -- Amar'e Stoudemire, Phoenix
G -- Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
G -- Steve Nash, Phoenix

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Monta Ellis
PTS AST STL MIN
21.3 4.6 1.6 34.0
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsT. Chandler 11.6
AssistsR. Rondo 9.0
StealsR. Rondo 2.0
BlocksT. Chandler 1.4