Where Does 2014 Rank Among Dirk Nowitzki's Best Seasons Ever?
Dirk Nowitzki has been ridiculously good this season; there is no other way to say it. After a 2012-13 NBA season in which Nowitzki failed to average at least 20 points per game for the first time since 2000, the 7-footer has bounced back to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a surprising season thus far.
Nowitzki is back up over the 20-point mark this year and has remained healthy, something he struggled with last season as well.
With Nowitzki having a year like this we ask, where does this rank among Dirk’s best seasons of all time? Here we venture to answer that question by ranking Dirk Nowitzki’s best NBA seasons from fifth to first.
All statistics in this article via Basketball-Reference.com.
Stats: 21.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.6 APG, 23.3 PER
Statistically speaking, the 2013-14 season is not in the top five when it comes to Dirk Nowitzki’s best seasons. However, with the way he has played and surprised people, there is no denying just how good Dirk has been.
After an injury-ridden 2012-13 season, Nowitzki has bounced back and looks like the vintage Dirk we have all become accustomed to loving. His signature one-legged fadeaway is back and better than ever as he has willed the Mavericks to a very good season.
Nowitzki’s defense has been about as bad as ever, but his offense has made up for it. Dirk is shooting nearly 49 percent from the field and almost 92 percent from the free-throw line. This season has been undoubtedly remarkable, but it’s impossible to put it higher than this ranking.
Stats: 23.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 2.6 APG, 23.4 PER
It’s tough to not have 2010-11 higher on the list, but the truth is that it was not Nowitzki’s best individual season. It was however, the best team that he has had around him. The Mavs went on to win the 2011 championship, and though Dirk finished sixth in the regular-season MVP voting, he did get to take home the Finals MVP trophy.
Dirk’s scoring dropped in the 2010-11 season to 23.0 points per game, but he became much more efficient. Nowitzki posted a career-best 51.7 field-goal percentage while shooting 39.3 percent from downtown.
Nowitzki has had better individual seasons than this one, but down the road, this will probably go down as the most memorable.
Stats: 26.1 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 3.1 APG, 26.1 PER
The 2004-05 Mavericks went 56-22 with the German big man in the lineup. The then-26-year-old was filling it up that season with 23 games of 30 points or more, including his career high of 53.
Not only was Dirk scoring in the 2004-05 season but he was snagging 9.7 rebounds per game and dishing out 3.1 assists. This season was also Dirk’s second-best according to his defensive rating and defensive win shares.
Dirk led the team in points, blocks, rebounds and minutes per game and finished third in the league MVP voting. Although Nowitzki put together a remarkable season, the Mavericks were bounced in the second round to the Phoenix Suns, who were led by Dirk’s former teammate and the league's MVP, Steve Nash.
Stats: 26.6 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 2.8 APG, 28.1 PER
The 2005-06 NBA season produced another third-place finish for Dirk Nowitzki in the NBA MVP voting. This year, however, Dirk and the Mavericks made it to the NBA Finals. Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t quite enough as the Miami Heat beat them in six games.
By no means, though, did this mean it was a disappointing season for Nowitzki, who posted career highs in PER, win shares and points per game.
Nowitzki not only led his team in PER, but tied with LeBron James for the league lead, both of whom just beat out Kobe Bryant. It was another phenomenal season for Nowitzki, which included 26 games of 30 points or more and one of 51 points.
Stats: 24.6 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 3.4 APG, 27.6 PER
MVP of the NBA. That is the title Dirk Nowitzki took home after the 2006-07 NBA season. In that season, Nowitzki became one of very few players to join the 50-40-90 Club. The 50-40-90 Club is when a player shoots over 50 percent from the field, over 40 percent from three-point range and over 90 percent from the free-throw line; if you don’t think that is tough then click here. Only eight guys have ever done it.
The Mavericks went an absurd 64-14 in the 78 games that Nowitzki played, which gained them the top seed in the Western Conference. Unfortunately, Dirk and the Mavs could not parlay their regular-season success into the postseason as they were bounced, 4-2, by the Golden State Warriors.
Nowitzki has had many unbelievable seasons, and the order can surely be debated. Which do you think was Dirk’s best season ever?