Can Dirk Nowitzki Reverse His Statistical Decline?

October 2nd, 2012 by Rob Mahoney Leave a reply »
Dirk Nowitzki's 2011-12 season was marked by a regression in points per game and rebounds per game, not to mention a substantial slide in field-goal percentage. As much as Dallas' failed championship defense was attributed to the exit of Tyson Chandler and company, Nowitzki's sudden and uncharacteristic inconsistency put the Mavericks' offense behind the eight ball. A system that leaned so heavily on Nowitzki's strengths toppled into offensive inefficiency with the slightest regression, but there's reason enough to believe that this coming season might go quite differently for both Dirk and the Mavs.

The toll of the NBA lockout

Nowitzki has an unbelievable work ethic and relentlessly hones his game while remaining in tip-top physical shape. Such is a necessity for a player with such underwhelming athleticism by NBA standards, and thus a strict preseason training regimen is a big part of what makes Nowitzki such a force from opening night.

Thus when the NBA lockout—an unfortunate diversion that Nowitzki thought would rule out the entire 2011-12 season—imposed an unexpected training camp and season opener, Nowitzki was caught u ...

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