This year we decided to be a part of the massive NBA Blogger Team Preview that was set-up by fellow blogger Jeff at Celtics blog. I hope you all enjoy this and please make sure to keep checking back here for the division by division previews.
So without further delay....
Team Name: Dallas Mavericks
Last Year's Record: 50-32
Key Losses: Brandon Bass, DeSegana Diop
1. What Significant Moves were made during the off-season?
Last season the Mavericks showed to be lacking heavily in the depth department. So the Mavs spent this off season grabbing up quality back up players with good shooting skills to go along with a defensive edge. The Mavericks were middle of the road defensive team a year ago, and with no one other than Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry to handle the bulk of the scoring it was project #1 Donnie Nelson to go get a top tier offensive player. Nelson accomplished that in a 4 team trade that landed the Mavs Shawn Marion. After that he went out and got a very active and scoring big man in Drew Gooden.
2. What are the team's biggest strengths?
The Dallas Mavericks now have the players to fully integrate Rick Carlisle's offense and at the same time get after people on the defensive end. This team will be extremely difficult to handle if they are able to get out and run. Transition offense is going to be a huge plus for them this season. The Mavericks should also be able to matchup with just about anyone 8 or 9 deep. This should be a very active and athletic team, while they may be a little older team now, the athleticism is there and even more so than the last few years.
3. What are the team's biggest weaknesses?
This team while being more athletic still has their issues; first and foremost defensive rebounding is a big area of concern. If the Mavericks cannot get better at keeping their opponent to one shot, this could singlehandedly crush their hopes of making a deep playoff push. This teams other glaring weakness is their perimeter defense. They must get better defensive guard play from Jason Kidd, and Jason Terry specifically. Both of these guys do great things for this team on the offensive end but they need to step up to the challenge on the defensive end.
4. What are the goals for this team?
The Mavericks front office, coaching staff, and players all feel that they have a team worthy of making a push for that elusive NBA Championship. While I am ecstatic to hear these types of things coming from my favorite team, I must hold back my urges to jump on that same wagon. This team is going to be a very good team this year, they have the components in place to make a lot of waves. While your goal should always be to win a championship, if the Mavericks can somehow push themselves into the Western Conference Finals, then the year would be a huge success!
5. What's the window of opportunity for this veteran team?
This Mavericks team is officially in the final two minutes of the game! With each passing year they become closer and closer to the day when they will have to completely reconstruct this team. The Mavericks have been a perennial contender for many years now and have not been able to accomplish the ultimate goal of bringing a championship to Dallas (Thanks largely in part to the phantom fouls on Dwayne Wade, Damn you David Stern!). The Mavericks have maybe two years to get the job done, the time is now!
Projected Finish: 56-26