It was a contested three, in overtime, and he drained it like it was an empty gym.
That’s what Dirk Nowitzki has done for 17 NBA seasons with the Dallas Mavericks now, and with that three — which helped seal a Dallas win over the Nets — he passed Moses Malone for seventh all time on the NBA scoring list.
Nowitzki is arguably the best shooting big man the NBA has ever seen and certainly the greatest European player the league has ever seen. It’s hard to contest the shot of a seven footer with a quick, high release (especially when he fades away) but even when other teams do it doesn’t matter — Nowitzki is shooting 50 percent this season on shots where the defender is one foot away or closer (stat via NBASavant.com). In a league that is trending away from the midrange shot, Nowitzki is the one guy any coach would trust to shoot from that range, especially from the right elbow or above the free throw line. And if he’s trailing the break you better not let him get a clean look on a three from anywhere near straight on.
The video above shows you why.