With 13 more points, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki will have scored 1,000 points in a season for the 16th time in his 18-year career.
“You don’t do things like he’s doing without putting an amazing amount of work and caring into it,” said Rick Carlisle, who has coached Nowitzki in the NBA longer than any other coach. “It’s not just the physical work on his body and the skill work on his shot.
Nowitzki missed 1,000 twice: In his 1998-1999 rookie season (385 points in 47 games) and 2012-13 (917 points in 53 games, underwent right knee surgery).
“It’s a total commitment to diet and really a lifestyle built for the best possible results.”
Nowitzki has missed 1,000 twice. In his 1998-1999 rookie season, he scored 385 points in 47 games. In 2012-2013, he had 917 when he only played 53 games after undergoing right knee surgery.
The 7-footer is the sixth all-time leading scorer in NBA history.
I’m constantly amazed on the one hand, but on the other hand he’s such a low-key humble person that he sets you up to take it for granted with the way he approaches it.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle on Dirk Nowitzki
“It’s great for guys in our program, particularly younger guys,” Carlisle said. “Guys like [Chandler]Parsons and guys like [Wesley] Matthews and guys like [Justin] Anderson and [Dwight] Powell — to see what goes into true greatness.
“I’m constantly amazed on the one hand, but on the other hand he’s such a low-key humble person that he sets you up to take it for granted with the way he approaches it. I can’t think of a greater compliment to an athlete.”
The only players with more 1,000-point seasons than Nowitzki are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19), Karl Malone (18), Tim Duncan (17) and John Havlicek (16). Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, Shaquille O’Neal, Moses Malone, Robert Parish and Nowitzki all have 15 seasons with 1,000 or more points on their resume.
Count Sacramento coach George Karl among those who are amazed at the way Parsons has recovered from hybrid micro-fracture right knee surgery on May 1.
“Parsons is like a rebirth,” Karl said of the forward. “A few months ago people were saying, ‘It looks like he’s not going to be able to recover from his injury.’
“Now it looks like he’s playing the best basketball of his career.”
Parsons has averaged 20.5 points and 5.7 rebounds over the past 20 games, and shot 54.4 percent from the field and 51.4 percent from 3-point range during than span.
“He’s a great worker, he studies the game, he studies his own game and he’s worked hard at it and he’s gotten better each year,” Carlisle said. “In the case of this year, he’s made big gains each month, so we’re looking to keep that trend going.”
If the Mavericks don’t make the playoffs, they may have to look back at Thursday’s 104-101 loss at home to the Kings.
After playing in Denver at 4 p.m. Sunday, the Mavericks will play nine consecutive games against opponents that are playing better than .500 basketball and would all be in the playoffs if the postseason started today.
That includes two games against the world champion Golden State Warriors, a pair of games against Portland, and games against Cleveland, the Los Angeles Clippers, Charlotte, Indiana and Detroit.
“This is a team that we should beat,” Parsons said after the loss to the Kings. “This is the type of loss that kind of bites you in the butt that you wish you could have back in a couple of weeks.”
Dirk Nowitzki needs 13 points to reach 1,000 in a season for the 16th time in his 18-year career. The players at the top of the 1,000-point per season list.
No. of 1,000-pt seasons
*Active players. Nowitzki has scored 987 points this season, Bryant 841, Duncan 392 and Pierce 316.