Dirk Nowitzki scoring more points per possession than James Harden, Kevin Durant, LeBron James
Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki may be 39 years old, but don’t tell the stat geeks that.
Nowitzki has always been one of the best and most efficient shooters in the NBA. Every season, he lights up the stat sheet with high percentages from the field, three-point range and free throw line.
This season, as it turns out, isn’t much different. Nowitzki is scoring more points per possession than some of the best players in the game today, per Bobby Karalla of the Mavericks digital team.
Dirk Nowitzki is scoring 1.098 points per possession this season. That ranks ahead of Klay Thompson, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and LeBron James.
— Bobby Karalla (@bobbykaralla) January 10, 2018
Some of the names on that list would make any NBA fan go bananas. You mean to say Nowitzki is more efficient than Golden State Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson, who never seems to miss? Or Kevin Durant, who oozes efficiency just be touching a basketball?
And LeBron James? Hold me.
But in taking a look a the numbers, it’s not so crazy. All the players on that list are volume shooters and have a much bigger role for their teams than Nowitzki does with his.
And Nowitzki only averages about 10 shots a game and is shooting 47 percent of those shots, per Basketball Reference. He is also shooting a blistering 42.1 percent from three.
Nowitzki’s shot selection and role in the offense must be contributing a great deal to these numbers. He only shoots four three-pointers per game and plays 25 minutes per game. But even in relatively limited minutes and a small number of shots, the fact that a 39-year-old is more efficient says a lot about the player.