trelvis tha thrilla
I believe Dirk Nowitzki should be an MVP finalist for the umpteenth straight year. The UberMan is by far the best player on one of the NBA’s three most accomplished teams (finishing second in the West would be quite an accomplishment) … and if you believe “clutch’’ is a premier measurement of excellence …
Well, then maybe you believe Dirk Nowitzki should be the MVP winner.
At least that’s the view of one smart NBA media member who resides in … Utah.
David Locke covers the Utah Jazz for KJZZ in Salt Lake City. He knows his NBA. And he knows how to define “clutch’’ – by using Dirk numbers.
There are an assortment of storylines to tonight's Spurs-at-Mavs meeting (7 p.m. start at the AAC). But as Nowitzki readies for the 82nd and final game of this regular season, let's take a moment to appreciate his season-long-running storyline.
The UberMan is defining "clutch.
'Notes Locke (using “clutch-situation’’ late-game/close-game stats as defined by Stats Inc thusly: [URL]http://www.82games.com/0910/CSORT11.HTM[/url] fourth quarter or overtime, less than five minutes left, neither team ahead by more than five points):
Dirk (62-of-64 97%) LeBron (74-of-91 81%) Kobe (46-of-55 84%) Durant (69-of-81 85%)
3-Point Shooting "Clutch"
Dirk (13-of-18 72%), LeBron (17-of-54 32%), Kobe (11-of-31 35%), Durant (10-of-31 32%)
Field-Goal Shooting "Clutch"
Dirk (64-of-137 47%), LeBron (68-of-147 46%), Kobe (48-of-111 43%), Durant (43-of-115 37%)
All of this, of course, is the primary reason the Mavs are 17-6 in games decided by five points or fewer. Carlisle designs it, Kidd triggers it, and Dirk? Dirk makes it – at a higher rate in each of the three departments – than LeBron, Kobe or Durant.
I know that all that will not be viewed by voters as enough to award Dirk Nowitzki with a bookend to his 2006-07 Most Valuable Player award. In fact, here are the ESPN columnists’ votes … and Nowitzki is a respectable honorable mention.
I also am open to just how weighty “clutch’’ stats are and should be … and there is an excellent discussion of that here on DB.com Boards.
But all things considered, Dirk is certainly in a class with any of the frequently mentioned candidates.