By Geoff Case
Mavericks fans might have been worried that Dirk might not be able to fight off father time once again. Those fears have been put to bed now that he’s finally back to his normal self, particularly on the boards. After never recording a single game with double-digit boards over his first 25 contests this season, he’s averaged 9.0 RPG over his past six games. When it comes to production on the glass, it’s safe to say Nowitzki has been trending the wrong way. In fact, his RPG over the past nine seasons, respectively (including this one): 9.7, 9.0, 8.9, 8.6, 8.4, 7.7, 7.0, 6.8 and 6.5. Always an underrated defensive rebounder, it’s nice to see him capable of still contributing in the category, as he pulled down 33 boards over a two-game stretch at the end of last month.
What does this mean for next season?
The Mavs should continue to try and land an elite talent to place alongside Nowitzki. Someone that can create their own shot and space the floor to give Dirk the ability to post up. Dirk looks like he’s still got 2-3 more quality seasons under his belt so the Mavs should keep trying to surf the free agency talent pool.
4/4 @Denver Nuggets: One of the most underrated teams in the NBA. They have no legitimate superstar but they have great players and the bench is nice and deep. This will be a really tough test for the Mavericks if they are trying to keep their playoff hope alive.
4/5 @ Sacramento Kings: DeMarcus Cousins might be playing in Seattle really soon so these last games might be extra emotional for the Kings fans. Look for the fans to try and ignite the Kings as they have been struggling this season with a 27-47 record.
4/7 @Portland Trailblazers: Damian Lillard continues to be one of the few bright spots for Portland as he now owns the NBA’s record for 3-pointers by a rookie. A remarkable achievement by a player whose shot was a question mark at draft time.