Ht/Wt: 7'-0"/ 245 lbs
Fun Fact:Enjoys reading and playing the saxophone in his spare time
Dirk Nowitzki. A truly underhyped, underappreciated, offensively unguardable player. Seriously, he's 7'something, has a decent post game, good handles, and a great outside touch (1.16 career PSA). Oh, and he can also hit the 3ball (.375 career). All from the 4-spot. If the late 80's and early 90's were the reign of the Centers, I think it's safe to say that we are somewhere in a PF age of renaissance with Garnett, TD, Nowitkzki, Amare, J.O. and so forth playing in the NBA.
Purely statistically speaking Dirk had the 5th best season in 05, based on Hollinger's PER stat. (just to reiterate, do not misinterpret me by misinterpreting Hollinger and his PER stat. The PER rankings do not directly correlate to best player and I'm not taking it to mean so, just as he's quite often alluded to. Just used as a reference point, so don't misquote me and insult his stat when i throw it out there only as a basis for argument. Now, as we were.)
In 04 Dirk was 9th in PER.
In 03 Dirk was 6th in PER.
Roland Ratings (i.e. +/- goodies)?
In 05 he was 4th
In 04 he was 19th.
If you were to throw all those tidbits into a nonbiased ranking machine, Dirk would definitely have to come in higher than 9th (I actually have him 7th). So why does he drop so low? One word: Defense
But...hooold-up-wait-a-minute! (woot! woot!)
Contrary to popular belief, Dirk ain't that bad a defender. Not only that, but he also ranked above Amare defensively, one of my main reasons for nudging Amare over Dirk in my list. So... where does that leave me?
1) Conclude that I wuz wrong.
2) Conclude that Rosenbaum is nutty.
Naturally, I chose the latter. Kidding. Some things that make me feel comfortable with keeping Amare>Dirk are: with regards to the rosenbaum stat, Amare's name is inconveniently missing, leaving him anywhere between 11-49th on the list. Meaning he theoretically could be the 12th best PF defensively, and leaving a non-existent difference between he and Dirk. And also, I'm still not fully sold that Rosenbaum's stuff, while crazy cool and all, hasn't got all the kinks fixed yet. Another factor that came into play was Dirk's poor performance in 05 playoffs (though I didn't put TOO much value into that)
So, while I begrudgingly admit I may be wrong in throwing Amare over Dirk, KG,TD,Shaq,Kobe, & T-Mac still get the nod over Dirk, IMHO.
And furthermore, I'll freely admit, if Dirk truly is an above average defender, I have no doubts his skinny-scrawny whiteness influenced me into believing he was a weak one-on-one defender that couldn't bang in the paint, provide a tall, physical presence naturally desired from the 4-spot/a guy of his height/wingspan. I would also tend to believe that in strictly looking at his physical ability I discounted a possible edge he had in basketball smahts, i.e. not missing def. assignments, playing good help D.
And on to no. 10.