Caught the first half between Germany and Poland in a FIBA friendly this morning. It wasn't a very good game, score was like 19-17 at halftime. Apparently Germany was missing a couple of their best players (besides Dirk) so that may be one reason.

I did catch a couple of nice clips of Dirk Nowitzki making some nice passes. If I was the German coach, I probably would've wanted Dirk to take a few more shots, especially at his sweet spot, the high elbows. But still, Dirk is getting his teammates involved which is a good sign that he is a team-player and wants to contribute more than just scoring. Take a look,

Dirk Attracts a Crowd:

I like what Dirk does in these plays. This first one, Poland is in M2M, but everyone is so focused when Dirk has the ball, the German forward just does a basket cut and Dirk finds him wide open down low. It's just a blown assignment by the Polish defender,

In this second clip, Dirk is able to penetrate the lane (with the help of a no-call forearm). Once that happens, it's a 2v1 to the hoop because the Polish help-side has to come up and take on Dirk. In my opinion though, Dirk should've elevated and dunked this one,

If you've got the best player on the floor, there is usually so much attention focused by the defense on that one player, that it should be able to get easy opportunities for the other offensive players. Problem is, on this night, Germany's other players weren't able to take advantage.


The FIBA wildcard qualifying tournament starts in 2 weeks to determine the final 3 spots. It's a 12-team tournament, and Germany is one of them. Based on today's performance, they won't make it. But with the exception of Brazil and Croatia, I think Germany has a shot at getting that 3rd and last spot (sorry Canada).

If you want to learn to make passes like this, take a look at Ganon Baker's DVD on Passing Drills. Discuss this and the rest of your favorite basketball topics at the X's and O's Basketball Forum.