Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki can still shoot. That the Golden State Warriors and their fans found out the hard way Saturday during Dallas' drubbing of the Warriors at Oracle Arena. After going for a season-high 21 points, Warriors fans shook off the loss and gave Nowitzki a standing ovation in what could very well be his final contest in the building.
After scoring a season-high 21 PTS, Dirk Nowitzki receives a standing ovation at Oracle Arena! pic.twitter.com/sgYRzElRzv
— NBA (@NBA) March 24, 2019
Nowitzki had it all working in Saturday's win, shooting 8-for-14 overall, even knocking five triples. Nowitzki also added five rebounds and two blocks to his stat line. Warriors fans were willing to put aside the regular season drubbing that won't truly affect their championship hopes in order to give the future Hall of Famer one last send-off.
Both Dallas and Nowitzki have made it well known that while the majority of the league seems to think that the 40-year-old will be retiring come season's end, nothing formal has been announced. Whether that's just Nowitzki being modest is up for debate, but it's feasible that he could return for a 22nd season until he says that he isn't.
His role has decreased significantly in his 21st year, averaging just 6.3 points and 2.4 rebounds across 14 minutes per contest. Despite his scoring barrage Saturday, he is shooting a career-low 36.3 percent overall, and just 32 percent from behind the arc. With the Mavericks eliminated from playoff contention, Nowitzki has entered the starting lineup for many of the games after the All-Star break, presumably to give him one last trip around the sun, although anything remains possible regarding his status in 2019-20.