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Dirk Nowitzki Would Look at Rival Power Forwards and Predict His Score For the Night Says Former Teammate

Shubham Singh

Dirk Nowitzki Would Look at Rival Power Forwards and Predict His Score For the Night Says Former Teammate

Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki ended his career as one of the best-scoring Power Forwards to play the game. Considering his shooting abilities at 7 feet coupled with sound high-post and low-post footwork, Dirk could rise over 7-footers and hit some of the toughest shots possible. His former teammate Charlie Villanueva, who played with Nowitzki during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, recently revealed something about the German, that tells us more than his basketball prowess.

During, the two seasons Charlie played, he came to appreciate the humorous side of his perennial All-Star teammate. He went to the Run Your Race pod and narrated a tale about Nowitzki that got a kick out of him. Villanueva kept re-iterating how the 14x All-Star is a “funny dude” and circled off games in which he would drop 40 points. 

Dirk is a funny dude. He look at the roster, look at the Power Forward, oh, I’m going for 40 tonight, ‘oh, who’s guarding me, that’s 30,” Charlie Villanueva told host Theo Pinson.

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This narration amused former Mavericks Guard/Forward Pinson who laughed his heart out. Then Villanueva also touched upon how “good dude” Dirk Nowitzki played at “his own pace”. That was indeed the case as the PF would patiently set up in the high post and make multiple body movements and dribble moves to attain a field goal.

The 2007 MVP finished with a career average of 20.7 points per game, per StatMuse. He hit the 25-points-per-game mark during five seasons in his 21-year career.

While he could kill defenders via his shooting and deceptive dribble moves, the perennial All-Star was also strong enough to finish in the low post. This is why muscular Power Forward/Center 6’11” Jermaine O’Neal considered him a nightmare match-up.

Jermaine O’Neal defined why he had trouble keeping up with Dirk Nowitzki

In February, Hoopshype author Cyro Asseo de Choch covered 6x NBA All-Star Jermaine O’Neal’s interview in which the Forward answered “Who was the toughest opponent you ever had to defend during your career?” While answering the question, the former Pacers Center acknowledged the rigours of guarding Nowitzki. He expressed how Nowitzki’s ability to shoot off-balanced shots was just one of the arrows in his quiver.

Dirk Nowitzki Would Look at Rival Power Forwards and Predict His Score For the Night Says Former Teammate
Credits: USA Today Sports

The  2002 MIP brought attention to the Mavs legend’s extension on the jump shot after executing a dribble move. Thus, it was difficult for him to make a recovery and contest the jumper.

He probably was the most difficult one to guard because he could pull up off any foot, like off the dribble, boom, and he’s up, and he’s seven foot tall. So, the ball’s been shot from here, so he can be shooting. You’re still moving because you’re trying to, and he’s beating you off the dribble. So, I would probably say it was him because he didn’t really have that off-the-dribble pull,” Jermaine O’Neal told Hoopshype.

It is not surprising that Nowtizki has figured in the list of one of the hardest match-ups ever. During the 2011 Finals, Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem, and Dwyane Wade did everything in their power to curtail his offensive moves. Heat’s HC Erik Spoelstra had to regularly send double-teams on Nowitzki. However, he still found a way through these double-teams and made tough shots with a hand always in his face. Throughout the series, Nowitzki took over in crunch time and proved his mettle by winning the 2011 Finals MVP award.

About the author

Shubham Singh

Shubham Singh


Shubham Singh is an NBA Journalist at SportsRush. He found his passion in Writing when he couldn't fulfil his dream of playing professional basketball. Shubham is obsessed with box scores and also loves to keep track of advanced stats and is, particularly, fond of writing CoreSport analytical pieces. In the league, his all time favorites were 80s Bad Boys, Pistons, while Dennis Rodman and his enthralling rebounding made him love the game more. It also made him realize that the game is much more than fancy scoring and playmaking. Shubham is also a huge fan of cricket and loves to watch all forms of women sports.

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