The Dirk Difference: Proof in plus-minuses

The Mavericks wouldn’t be the worst team in the NBA without Dirk Nowitzki.

We can say that with confidence because they blew out the miserable Milwaukee Bucks when Nowitzki stayed home sick. But the Mavs would be awfully bad.

That, of course, is a common-sense statement. But just how bad would the Mavs be without the big German? The proof is in the plus-minuses.

Every player in the Mavs’ rotation has a major drop-off in their plus-minus when Nowitzki isn’t on the court with them. With an assist from the NBA’s advanced stats, here’s a look at just how large the Dirk Difference is for each player.

Monta Ellis

With Dirk: plus-88 in 998 minutes

Without Dirk: minus-101 in 618 minutes

Difference: 189

Jose Calderon

With Dirk: plus-77 in 849 minutes

Without Dirk: minus-102 in 494 minutes

Difference: 179

Vince Carter

With Dirk: plus-74 in 449 minutes

Without Dirk: minus-93 in 590 minutes

Difference: 167

Samuel Dalembert

With Dirk: plus-55 in 584 minutes

Without Dirk: minus-56 in 261 minutes

Difference: 111

Shawn Marion

With Dirk: plus-4 in 689 minutes

Without Dirk: minus-107 in 568 minutes

Difference: 111

Jae Crowder

With Dirk: plus-126 in 514 minutes

Without Dirk: plus-18 in 305 minutes

Difference: 108

Shane Larkin

With Dirk: plus-75 in 276 minutes

Without Dirk: plus-1 in 112 minutes

Difference: 74

DeJuan Blair

With Dirk: plus-43 in 498 minutes

Without Dirk: minus-14 in 348 minutes

Difference: 57

Brandan Wright

With Dirk: plus-36 in 202 minutes

Without Dirk: plus-4 in 188 minutes

Difference: 32