It was the Dirk Nowitzki show in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals Tuesday night. Dirk went off for 48 points in Dallas’ 121-112 win over Oklahoma City, and in the process added fuel to the conversation about just how great the 7-foot German really is.
Tyson Chandler, a different type of 7-footer, struggled to get into the flow of the game after picking up a double-technical foul and other questionable cheap fouls defensively. He was limited to just 25 minutes of action, and he scored just three points while grabbing eight boards. All the more reason to be pleased with Dallas’ chances if you’re a Mavericks fan. They may not get 48 from Dirk every night, but they’ll also likely get more production out of Chandler.
Anyway, even though he struggled, he’s still a great interview. So let’s hear what he had to say about Dirk’s shooting clinic on Tuesday night. Chandler joined Ben & Skin on ESPN Radio to talk about just that and other fun topics the day after Dallas took a 1-0 series lead by the historically efficient performance by Nowitzki.
On Dirk Nowitzki scoring 48 points on just 15 field goals and 39 total shots including free throws:
"I’m just saying, when you actually think about that — this man threw up the ball 39 times and 36 times it went in. I’m sure that in your pick-up league, you guys couldn’t do a layup drill and make 36 out of 39."
On what it’s like to be defending a guy like Dirk when he’s on like that:
"I think that whoever is guarding him feels like they’re on an island all by themselves and everybody in the arena is watching Dirk put on a show. I mean, last night I was on the bench and I don’t how many times I looked over at DeShawn Stevenson at one point when he was on the bench with me, Caron Butler and a couple other guys, and I was just in awe. The only thing I said is this dude’s a monster. He’s a monster. Like as a defender, it just baffles me what he’s able to do on the basketball court. As a defender, if I was coming out to guard him you think ‘okay, what’s his strength? You try to take his strength away and then try to make his second option tough. I mean, the guy’s repertoire, there’s no first, second, third, fourth, or fifth option. He can do everything on the court. So when you’re guarding a guy like that, you’re at his mercy. And last night guys were at his mercy and it was fun to watch."