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Wednesday July 18, 2007 6:50 am

Dropping Dimes Mock Draft Blog 2007: Round 1, Pick 5

Dirk Nowitzki MVP

Dirk Nowitzki followed a MVP season with a less than stellar performance in the playoffs. In this year’s playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks were facing elimination in Game 6 in Golden State, Dirk went 4-for-16 from the field and finished the game with a disappointing 14 points and 12 rebounds and no threes. The #1 seeded Mavs were eliminated by the 8th seed Golden State Warriors and Dirk Nowitzki was racked over the coals for his lack luster performance. The performance was almost as bad as his favorite German pop star, David Hasselhoff, drunk eating pizza off the kitchen floor. Fantasy ballers do not care too much what happens in the playoffs, it is the performance in the regular season that is important. 

Dirk was the second overall pick last year and it is a little surprising that he dropped down to the five hole this year. Take a peep what he did the last two years.

’05-‘06 – 26.6 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 2.8 apg, 0.7 spg, 1.0 bpg, 1.4 threes, 1.9 topg, 48.0 FG%, 90.1 FT%
’06-‘07 – 24.6 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 3.4 apg, 0.7 spg, 0.8 bpg, 0.9 threes, 2.1 topg, 50.2 FG%, 90.4 FT%

Just like going to Starbucks and ordering a latte you know what you are going to get, with Dirk Nowitzki you know you will get. Dirk is solid with the percentages (FG%, FT% & 3pt%), points (11th in the league in points) and rebounds (13th in the league in rebounds). Dirk had a career high in assists with 3.4 dimes/game last year. Nowitzki will not contribute heavily in the hustle stats and threes but he is not a scrub by averaging close to a steal, block and three a game. Another thing about Dirk is that he is pretty durable. The most games he missed in a season not including his rookie season was 6 games back in the ‘01-’02 season.

With trade rumors swirling around some of the earlier first round picks (1.2 Kobe Bryant, 1.3 Shawn Marion, 1.4 Kevin Garnett), Dirk will not be changing address anytime soon. Nowitzki is the engine that runs the Mavs’ offence. With a long summer off due to the Mavs early exit from the playoffs, Dirk will enter the season with a chip on his shoulder.

The defensive approach that Coach Nellie incorporated in the playoffs by having a smaller faster player guarding Dirk and sending in double and triple teams may be borrowed by opposing coaches in the upcoming season. Dirk will learn to pass out of the double/triple teams which will equal open shots for teammates and more assists. Dirk will need to learn to post up smaller players or shot over them. Coach Johnson will figure out the defenses and put Dirk in a position to be successful.

With the common trend in the NBA playing small ball, Dirk will be playing more in the 5 spot. There is a very good chance that Dirk will get center eligibility. A big man with Dirk’s unique skills with center eligibility?!  Give me a schnitzel and a Beck’s; this calls for a German celebration! 

Previous Picks This Round

1.1 Lebron James, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers
1.2 Kobe Bryant, SG, Los Angeles Lakers
1.3 Shawn Marion, SF/PF, Phoenix Suns
1.4 Kevin Garnett, PF, Minnesota Timberwolves  

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