OK, can we stop with this debate once and for all? Anyone who watched the the Suns' 129-127, 2-OT road win over the Mavs knows Dirk Nowitzki is not the league's MVP. He's not even the MVP of his team. He's a great player. He's an All-Star. But the league's MVP drew two crucial fouls and scored 10 points in the final 57 seconds of regulation, including the 3-pointer to send the game into the first OT. The MVP made the defensive play of the game, deflecting the ball out of bounds off Jason Terry in the closing seconds of the second overtime.
The true MVP is Steve Nash -- again. The tighter the game became, the more Dirk disappeared. The more Dirk hesitated the more Nash dictated. This isn't about numbers, or missed shots -- though had Dirk made both free throws near the end of regulation the game would have been over. No, this is about heart. Jerry Stackhouse has it. Jason Terry has it. Josh Howard has it. But with all due respect to Mark Cuban, last night showed us all what Dwyane Wade was talking about when he basically said Dirk choked in the Finals. Listen, the big guy brings a lot to his basketball team, but heart ain't on the list.
That doesn't mean the Mavs won't win the championship. It just means Dirk's not the deciding factor in the team doing so. I know it was just one game but it was a very important game. One in which the Mavs needed to send a message. In a close contest between two excellent basketball teams, the MVP is suppossed to be the difference-maker. Anyone who watched knows who stepped up when their team needed them to and who let their team down. The final play of the game summed it up perfectly -- Dirk missing the shot to tie and Nash snatching the rebound. In my eyes, it wasn't the only thing Nash snatched.