Rather than turning my reflections inward on this New Year holiday, I find myself reflecting on my Dallas Mavericks. At this point in the season, I think we know what this team is, and we have hope for where they are going.
Early in the season, we had multitudes of questions; How will Monta fit? Will Dirk be Dirk again? What about the rookies and new acquisitions? Most of our questions have been answered with some certainty. Ellis is a solid fit, neither superstar nor goat. Dirk is still Dirk! None of our rookies project to be major impact players, though there may be a few solid role players from this lot in the future.
Dalembert is not what was hoped, but mostly what was expected. Blair has developed into a fan favorite for his energy, quick hands, and David vs Goliath work ethic. Wright is coming back nicely, while we anxiously wait to see if Harris can contribute anything this season. I don't think anyone expects Harris will propel the team significantly above our current position in the west.
So the Mavs are a possible seven or solid eight seed this year barring major injury. My hopes were a little higher, but the opinions of most of the national press were much, much worse. I like this team. When they are shooting, it is a beautiful thing. When they give up a lead, it is maddening. However, they are definitely compelling and exciting. So where do the Mavs go from here?
We definitely need a big man next year. He doesn't have to score a lot, but he has to be effective on D. Our defense needs real work all around and we still need to get younger. It is doubtful we will have both Marion and Carter next year. I like our prospects, though. It is possible to address these issues in just one offseason! I have regained my belief in the front office. A year from now, we could again be looking at a 50 win team. Bring on 2014!!!