May 07

Survival of the fittest: Dirk Nowitzki’s Adaptability

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When Dirk Nowitzki was first drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks as the ninth pick in the 1998 draft, he sported a 7-foot lanky frame with quite a reach and a long wingspan to prevent perimeter defenders from swatting the ball. He was immediately traded to the Dallas Mavericks, where he was labelled as soft and delicate. You see, the German cager was not an immediate powerhouse. With his thin physique, he relied on spot up jumpers and chances from beyond the arc. Nobody expected the future star to provide an impact early on. And surely, during his career, Nowitzki shot a few air balls and had plenty of rookie mistakes, but that did not stop the Maverick forward to improve and expand his style of play.

Sharp shooting days
With the height that he possessed, the Wurzburg-born Maverick was a nightmare for his shorter defenders. Although quicker than most players in his position, the young Nowitzki was easily manhandled and out-powered in the low post. His slashing skills were still undeveloped. He cannot be trusted as the main go-to guy to handle the ball in the post or while driving to the rim. With a thin frame, the ball is easily swiped off by tinier and quicker defenders. Instead of being discouraged, the 7 footer developed his signature one-legged fade away, which up to this day is almost impossible to defend. It’s a good thing that he was teamed up with Steve Nash in his early years.

Sharp shooting plus rim slashing
As Dirk aged and developed by the entire cast of the Mavericks, the German expanded his style of play to make defenders second-guess his offensive tactics. In fact, the German PF notched his first NBA Championship in 2011 and earned his MVP Finals title too. He combined aggressiveness in the post while combining a finesse in a finger roll finish to his arsenal. It’s a good thing that he had Shawn Marion and Tyson Chandler to lighten the defensive and rebounding load. Unluckily, the Mavericks failed to go for a back-to-back and even failed to enter the 2013 playoffs. They could go early with their summer workouts or Marion, who is known as a poker lover, may want to host a friendly game of cards. Luckily, Nowitzki can participate anytime with the availability of online sites like PartyPoker Deutsch. It’s also a good way to improve rapport and focus. Just like basketball, there are basic skills in poker that are needed in order for the player to survive and even win the table. Focus, for one, allows a player to concentrate on his cards and the community cards as well even with the distractions of other players such as facial expressions and blatant bluffing methods. Also, poker players need to be snappy with their decisions, making a split-second move without compromising his play. Finally, playing poker is a good way to create a healthy camaraderie between you and other players even if there are real stakes involved. However, chemistry is always the key—and poker might just be the formula—come another 82 games next season.