Only one year ago, it seemed like Dirk Nowitzki‘s career had gone past its prime. This year, not only does the star player of the Dallas Mavericks prove he’s back into his lethal shooting form, but he’s also had his best statistical performance of the season since 2012. Nowitzki averaged a superior 21.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and shooting 46 percent from the field during the 2011-12 season, which included a first-round playoff appearance. However, the following season was filled with bad news, as he missed the first 27 games of the year after recovering from knee surgery in October. While his scoring was only a bit below his previous average with 17.3 points, the Mavericks failed to reach the postseason, and appeared to have reached a possible rebuilding phase. This year features a totally different team. They are currently in the playoff race holding the seventh-seed with a record of 45-31. The additions of Samuel Dalembert, Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon have improved the squad significantly, but the resurgence of Nowitzki is the best thing for the team and fans. He is back to scoring at 21.6 points per game, but he has increase his shooting percentage to 49 percent, which is his third most efficient season scoring performance in his career. Through 76 games, it appears that the Mavericks will face the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. Despite ranking below the team that features MVP candidate Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, Dallas has the pieces necessary for a potential upset in the opening round of the postseason. Despite the result in the playoffs, the Mavericks have greatly improved from their disappointing 2012-13 season. Tim Ahmed is an NBA writer for RantSports.com. Follow Tim on Twitter @TheTimAhmed, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.