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  • Writer's pictureBen Ballard

Analyzing Dirk’s Nowitzki’s Career Shooting the Three



Dirk was one of the first big men in the NBA to effectively utilize the three-point shot as a major part of his game. When he entered the league, the idea of a 7-footer shooting from beyond the arc was unconventional. His success from three-point range helped revolutionize the role of power forwards and centers, paving the way for the modern “stretch four” and “stretch five” roles. Over his career, he shot 38% from three, 88% from the line, and 47% from the field.



Throughout his career, Dirk maintained a impressive three-point shooting percentage, especially considering his volume and the era he played in. His ability to shoot from long range stretched defenses and created spacing for his teammates. This spacing was a key factor in the Mavericks’ offensive efficiency.


Dirk’s prime years are generally considered 2003–2011, during this period, Dirk consistently maintained a field goal percentage around 46–48%, demonstrating his efficiency as a scorer. His three-point shooting was impressive, often exceeding 35%, with a notable peak of 42.1% in the 2009 season. His free throw shooting (FT%) was outstanding, regularly above 85%, highlighting his reliability.




The 2009 Season in particular was special for dirk. In this season, Dirk’s shooting efficiency was exceptional. He achieved a field goal percentage of 48.1%, a three point percentage of 42.1%, and an free throw percentage of 91.5%. The graphic helps show how remarkably consistent Dirk was in his shooting percentages over the years. His career shooting percentages never deviated too high or low from career numbers.


Another aspect of dirks shooting was the attempts for each shot type. The mavericks won the Title in 2009–10, and afterwards Dirk Field Goal Attempts began a pretty sharp decline until 2012, when his season ended early due to a knee surgery.


Dirk’s career shooting figures shown below, the histogram bins game level data showing how frequently he had games with that respective shooting percentage.


The graphic below is interesting because it shows that during Dirk’s career high of Three Point shooting, he was actually shooting less volume than most of the other seasons.


Dirk Nowitzki’s career stats reflect his evolution from a talented young player to one of the most skilled shooters in NBA history, especially for his size. His ability to maintain high percentages in FG, 3P, and FT over two decades underscores his status as an all-time great. His 2009 season stands out as a highlight in an already stellar career, showcasing his peak efficiency and scoring ability.


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