Posts Tagged ‘Dirk Nowitzki’

It’s the time of the year in the NBA where the M.V.P. talk starts. For some reason this has been the week where everyone who supported Russell Westbrook earlier in the season have now turned their backs on him and are looking for other candidates for M.V.P. The other names that keep coming up are James Harden, LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard. So let’s take a look and see how these players match up.

Westbrook’s Oklahoma City Thunder are 35-29 and currently holding on to the 7th spot in the Western Conference. In 64 games Westbrook averages 32.1 points per game, 10.5 rebounds per game and 10 assists per game. Westbrook is the leagues leading scorer and he is 3rd in assists he is also 12th in rebounding, but remember he’s a point guard. That’s right Westbrook is averaging a triple-double per game so far this season. The last player to average a triple-double in a season was Oscar Robertson who did in during the 1961-62 season for the Cincinnati Royals.

Harden’s Houston Rockets are 44-20 and are currently in 3rd place in the Western Conference. In 64 games Harden is averaging 29 points per game, 7.9 rebounds per game and 11.5 assists per game. Harden is the leagues 2nd leading scorer and is leading the NBA in assists. Harden is tied for 25th in rebounding.

James’ Cleveland Cavaliers are the top team in the Eastern Conference with a record of 42-20. James has played in 57 games this season and is averaging 26 points per game, 8.2 rebounds per game and 8.8 assists per game. James is the leagues 8th leading scorer. He is 4th in the league is assists and is tied for 22nd in rebounding.

Leonard’s San Antonio Spurs are 49-13 and in 2nd place in the Western Conference. Leonard averages 26.3 points per game, 3.4 assists per game and 6 rebounds a game. Leonard is the leagues 7th leading scorer. He is tied for 53rd in assists and is tied for 60th in rebounding. I’m sure you’ve noticed that with the exception of scoring Leonard’s stats don’t compare top the other M.V.P. candidates. While that may be the case Leonard is far and away the best defensive player out of the four candidates; so that should help his M.V.P. case.

Now it looks as even if Westbrook puts up the best numbers he’s not going to win the M.V.P. award and that’s even if he averages a triple-double. Since Oklahoma City isn’t really considered a threat to win the NBA title that will hurt Westbrook’s case even though it’s a regular season award. I’m not sold on the Rockets being a title contender either, but the team is much improved this season and Harden is being given the credit for that. I’m not sure why James is even in this conversation. Most people still consider him the best player in the NBA ; so I’m guessing that’s why his name keeps coming up, but he doesn’t deserve to win this award. Leonard is kind of a sleeper pick at this point, but he’s gained some support lately. San Antonio is always a title contender, but I’m not sure that Leonard’s stats are M.V.P. worthy especially when you compare him to the other candidates.

If I had a vote which I don’t I’d cast mine for Westbrook. What he’s doing is historic. Harden would be 2nd on my ballot with Leonard 3rd and James a distant 4th. When it’s all said and done look for Harden to walk away with the M.V.P. award when the voting comes out.

The Dallas Mavericks beat the Los Angeles Lakers 122-111 last night. Neither team is going to make the playoffs this season; so the importance of this game was would Dirk Nowitzki break the 30,000 point mark for his career in this game. Nowitzki came into the game needing 20 points to reach the 30,000 point mark. With 10:58 left in the 2nd quarter Nowitzki hit a jumper to reach the scoring milestone. Nowitzki became just the 6th player to reach the 30,000 point milestone. The other player to reach that mark are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant and Wilt Chamberlain. Nowitzki is in his 19th season and has said he plans on returning for a 20th; all with the Mavericks.

Nowitzki has played in 1377 career games. For his career he averages 21.8 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game and 2.5 assists per game. Nowitzki is a 13 time All-Star, he was the M.V.P. for the 2006-07 season and was the finals M.V.P. in 2011 when the Mavericks won their only title over the Miami Heat, Dallas made the finals in the 2006-07 season, but lost to the Heat in the finals. Nowitzki is a sure bet to make the basketball Hall of Fame when his career is over. Don’t forget that Nowitzki was actually drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 9th pick in the 1998 draft. Nowitzki and Pat Garrity where traded to Dallas for Robert “Tractor” Traylor on draft night. Dallas had taken Traylor with the 6th pick of the draft.

NFL free agents can’t officially sign with teams until 3:00 p.m. tomorrow. Of course that isn’t going to stop reports from coming out on who’s going to go where. The first such report that came out has Brandon Marshall staying in New York, but moving from the Jets to the Giants. It’s being reported that Marshall will sign a two year $12 million dollar deal to join the Giants. Marshall had hoped that the Jets would grant him his release and they did saving $7.5 million dollars on their salary cap. There was some talk that the Jets and Marshall engaged in contract extension talks, but in the end the two sides parted ways. The Jets didn’t look for any type of trade for Marshall as the team considered it a “long shot” on getting a deal done. Marshall spent two seasons with the Jets with his first one being much more productive than his second one. Of course quarterback play has a lot to do with how a wide receiver is going to do and the Jets didn’t have very good quarterback play last season. Marshall should be a good fit for the second receiver slot behind Odell Beckham Jr. in the Giants offense. Marshall also gives  Giants quarterback Eli Manning another target to throw to. With the release of Victor Cruz the Giants have found a solid veteran replacement for that wide receiver position. Of course by staying in New York Marshall will also be able to continue to do Inside the NFL.

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The Golden State Warriors won 73 regular season games and there was a lot of talk about this was the best team ever. This 73 win team made it to the NBA Finals for the second season in a row. Now the issue becomes is this the best team ever or is this the best regular season team ever since they lost Game 7 and the NBA Championship 93-89 to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. The record Golden State broke belonged to the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, but that Bulls team won the title. The next year the Bulls won 69 games to tie for the second most wins in a season at the time with 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. Both of those 69 win team won the title. I guess the question is; what does a 73 win regular season mean when you don;t win the NBA title. The record is impressive in this NBA day and age where players are always looking to take regular season games off and not to mention staying healthy. Did setting the wins record in the regular season hurt Golden State in the playoffs. To be fair the NBA did everything in it’s power to make sure there was a Game 7. The NBA and the referees did quite a bit to stack the deck against the Warriors in Games 5 and 6, but Game 7 appeared to be on the up and up and they didn’t win. Without the NBA title on their resume where does this Golden State team rank in NBA history. Would they make it into the Top 5 or do they make the Top 10. Is there even a possibility that they’re outside the Top 10 because they didn’t win the title. Even if the Warriors had won the NBA title there where people who thought that the 1995-96 Bulls team led by the greatest player of all time Michael Jordan was still a better team. By not winning the championship Golden State made it easier for anyone and everyone who want to compare these teams to drop them down the list. If you’re making your list; where do you have this Golden State team on it?

While we’re talking about the Warriors they made some noise yesterday about who they might target in free agency. NBA free agency officially starts July 1st and there are reports that Golden State’s number one target is Kevin Durant. Now of course teams always need a back up plan and yesterday the Warriors back up plan may have opted out of his contract. While he is 38 wouldn’t Dirk Nowitzki fit nicely into the scheme that Golden State runs.  Nowitzki has spent his entire 18 year NBA career with the Dallas Mavericks, but could he leave Dallas for a shot at another NBA title with Golden State. The Mavericks won the NBA championship in 2010-11 season and Nowitzki was voted finals M.V.P. Nowitzki won the league M.V.P. in 2007; he’s a 13 time All-Star and has been named to the All-NBA team 12 times all with the Mavericks. Nowitzki is the Mavericks all time leading scorer and is 6th in NBA history. Nowitzki is also the Mavericks all-time leader in games,  rebounds, field goals, three-point field goals and free throws. I think it would be tough for Nowitzki to leave Dallas, but is the allure of another championship enough for him to sign with Golden State.

While we’re on free agency Dwight Howard declined the $23.1 million dollar option in his contract and come July 1st will be a free agent. Now guys like LeBron James and Dwayne Wade will opt out of their contracts and sign max deals with their respective teams. With the increase of the salary cap and the influx of money do to the new television agreement there will be a lot of players opting out of there deals on a yearly basis to get bigger and bigger contracts. This move might make sense for a lot of those players, but is it the right move for Howard. Will the Houston Rockets or any other NBA team pay him more than the $23.1 million he just opted out of. Last season Howard’s scoring average (13.7 points per game) reached it’s lowest since his (12.0 points per game) in his rookie season. Howard is still a solid rebounder and shot blocker, but he’s also still a terrible free throw shooter. With the way the NBA game has changed it’s hard to see a team paying Howard upwards of $20 million, but it does only take one team to see something in Howard or have a use for him. Would you want your favorite team to sign Howard with the price tag of over $20 million.

The NBA draft is tomorrow and the Philadelphia 76ers have the 1st pick. Word has leaked out that the 76ers plan on selecting LSU forward Ben Simmons with that 1st pick. There was some talk that Simmons didn’t want to play for Philadelphia and would prefer to be drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 2nd pick. That talk seems to have passed as Simmons had his first workout for an NBA team and it was the 76ers. With Simmons now appearing to be a lock for the #1 pick this leaves the Lakers drafting Duke forward Brandon Ingram. It’s been reported over and over that Simmons and Ingram are clearly the Top 2 players in this draft. The Boston Celtics have the 3rd pick and they’ve dangled it in front of the Chicago Bulls in a deal for Jimmy Butler. Boston is a young team and adding a veteran for this pick would be a good move, but if they hang onto it I’m not sure who they’d draft. Could it be California forward Jaylen Brown, Washington forward Marquese Chriss or possible Croatian forward Dragan Bender. It pretty much seems that after Simmons and Ingram come off the draft board it’s kind of up for grabs on who goes next.

I was wondering if or when we’d start hear Olympians bow out of the Rio de Janeiro games because of the Zika virus. World’s #4 ranked golfer Rory McIlroy has decided not to compete at this summer’s Olympics in Rio due to fears about the Zika virus. McIlroy joins a list including Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Marc Leishman and Vijay Singh having already said they will not travel to Brazil; while world #6 ranked golfer Rickie Fowler has also cast doubt on his participation. The situation is a difficult one for golf as it  returns to the Olympics for the first time since 1904. Concerns about the Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects, have cast a shadow over Rio 2016, but the International Olympic Committee, with guidance from the World Health Organisation, has resisted calls for the Games to be moved or postponed.

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