I know what you've been thinking. Are the Mavs going to make the playoffs or not? If they do make it, will they catch fire and surprise us or flame out in the first round. We've seen the Mavs take down super teams like the Blazers and Pacers yet lose to bottom feeders such as the Nuggets and Bobcats. Seeing as you never know which Mavs team is going to show up, what are we supposed to expect from a consistently inconsistent team?
One thing is for sure, this team is going to have to step it up defensively to stay in the playoff chase and actually compete in the playoffs. Shawn Marion usually does his work on defense but his teammates are going to have to chip in and not leave him on an island when it comes to that side of the ball. In addition, we can't allow opposing centers to just score at will and eat us alive on the boards. This center by committee that Carlisle likes to implement works decent but is only masking the obvious need for a quality center like we had in Tyson Chandler! Do you think it's a coincidence that we haven't won a championship since the best center Dallas ever had left. I don't think so either! Sooner or later this glaring need is going to have to be addressed or Dallas will continue to struggle for lower level playoff seeds or not make it at all!
On the flip side, the Mavs have two consistent scorers in Nowitzki and Ellis. You can throw in Carter who has surprisingly become a good third scoring option and should strongly be considered for sixth man of the year. The Mavs can score and with Devin Harris contributing with his quickness and scoring makes Dallas a legitimate offensive threat. The way they have been hitting the 3 ball lately makes them deadly and brings back memories of 2011. Dallas has always been able to put up points but defense is what wins championships. Contenders or pretenders...I guess we'll have to see how the season plays out and the Mavs decide to show us who they really are!