When Dirk's Good, the Mavs Can Be Great

By Richie Whitt
|  Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013  |  Updated 11:54 AM CDT
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When Dirk's Good, the Mavs Can Be Great

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Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks shoots a free throw.

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Ah, those maddening Mavericks.

Blow a big lead at home to the lowly Raptors one night. Go into Houston and beat one of the NBA’s best teams the next.

No way around it, Dirk Nowitzki failed last Friday against Toronto. And just as clear, he was in vintage form in Dallas’ 111-104 victory over the Rockets Monday night.

With a smooth array of Flamingo Fadeaways and dead-on 3-poiners, Dirk dragged his Mavs past the Rockets with 31 points and six rebounds. Along the way he passed Alex English for 13th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Oh, and in the process he also flabbergasted us fans a touch.

When the Mavs are good, they can be great. They have impressive road wins in Houston and Portland and can play with the league’s elite. But when they’re bad, they stink. The home loss to the Raptors and a big blown lead at mediocre Atlanta are prime, frustrating examples.

The more I watch of this team the more I’m reminded of the same bottom line: As Dirk goes, so go the Mavericks.

Said Mavs’ coach Rick Carlisle after the game, “He’s the great Dirk Nowitzki. He’s one of the great players in the history of the game.”

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his fiancee, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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