The Dallas Mavericks desperately needed a win on Friday night over the Brooklyn Nets. After three-straight losses that dropped their record to 25-32, they were in danger of essentially eliminating their chances at making the NBA Playoffs. Luckily, they got a solid performance from Dirk Nowtizki that carried them to a 98-90 victory over Brooklyn.
Nowitzki put up 20 points, eight rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block against the Nets. He also shot the ball very efficiently, going 8-14 from the field. The Mavericks have come to expect big performances in important games from him.
However, as Dallas enters the final month and a half of their season five games behind the eighth-seeded Houston Rockets in the Western Conference playoff-race, every game for them is an important one. Subsequently, they need Dirk to consistently rise to the occasion.
Since the All-Star break, Nowizki has been somewhat of a rollercoaster-ride in terms of his performance. He’s had four games where he’s shot over 50 percent from the field and scored over 20 points, but has also had two games where his field-goal percentage was under 40 percent and he scored less than 15 points. The latter type of games can’t happen anymore if the Mavs want to make the playoffs.
It’s unquestionable that Nowitzki is the cornerstone of this Dallas team and has been for many years. Over the remaining weeks in the season, the Mavericks are going to be leaning heavily on him, needing his support to be successful. Even at 34 years old, Nowitzki needs to channel his inner-superstar and produce night-in and night-out if he wants to be a part of the postseason.