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.
With Dirk: plus-88 in 998 minutes
Without Dirk: minus-101 in 618 minutes
With Dirk: plus-77 in 849 minutes
Without Dirk: minus-102 in 494 minutes
With Dirk: plus-74 in 449 minutes
Without Dirk: minus-93 in 590 minutes
With Dirk: plus-55 in 584 minutes
Without Dirk: minus-56 in 261 minutes
With Dirk: plus-4 in 689 minutes
Without Dirk: minus-107 in 568 minutes
With Dirk: plus-126 in 514 minutes
Without Dirk: plus-18 in 305 minutes
With Dirk: plus-75 in 276 minutes
Without Dirk: plus-1 in 112 minutes
With Dirk: plus-43 in 498 minutes
Without Dirk: minus-14 in 348 minutes
With Dirk: plus-36 in 202 minutes
Without Dirk: plus-4 in 188 minutes