You can scan through NBA Champions over the past decade and beyond to see that there are key ingredients necessary to win the title. Some of the parts to the formula are more critical now for the modern game compared to the classic days. The question becomes, if anything, what do thelack from the formula? I believe if a team has all eight of the following characteristics, they're nearly a lock to win it at all.
Star Power: The team needs a legitimate Hall-of-Fame worthy stud leading the group. Behind that superstar, you need at least one or two quality players who could easily be a star on another team. To name a few examples, thehave had that with Shaq to Kobe, Kobe to Gasol, the have had it with Duncan to Parker/Ginobli, and Jordan had Pippen.
Strong Coaching: The coach is critical in all phases of the season and the playoffs, but he is necessary during the regular season to control the egos and keep things fresh. He needs to be able to push the right buttons and get the best out of his players and be able to do it in a variety of ways. It's also necessary for him to be an excellent strategist and have a solid command/presence over his team.
Low-Post Presence: You need a big man who can slow the game down and has the ability to get you easy buckets. The ability to get easy buckets can trigger a scoring run or help slow down a scoring run against you. If you're able to throw the ball down low, you can create double-team situations and potentially cause foul trouble for the opposition. Shaquille O'Neal, Hakeem Olajuwan,are prime examples.
Solid Defense: The contending team needs to be a solid defending team, individually and collectively. The old cliche is "Defense Wins Championships." The analogy that I really like is the group is theoretically connected together by a string, they all move together based on how the offense is trying to attack and they're in constant motion and ready for anything. Rebounding is closure to the defensive possession so that is required as well.
Point Guard Play: They don't need to be an All-NBA point guard, but they need to be able to manage the team and be a consistent facilitator. You can look at the list of Steve Kerr, Gary Payton,, - there isn't a superstar point guard on that list. was only coming into his own as a point guard when the won their most recent title.
Trust/Basketball IQ: The term "Basketball IQ" has really emerged as a buzzword in grading a players value to a team. Are they able to adjust to a team's strategy, can they see things other players don't, etc. those are just some examples of basketball IQ. You need smart players in order to be a successful team with title aspirations. Along those lines, trust is very important to your team. By having a high basketball IQ, you know you can depend on your teammates to be in the spot where they need to be and execute at a high rate. Teammates don't necessarily need to like or love each other, but they definitely need to know that they can trust each other.
Clutch Shooting: Games can come down to the final minute or final play so it's critical to have a cold-blooded shooter on your team. This player needs to be able to step up when it matters most, even if they are having a terrible game, and hit that shot that is a dagger to the opposition. Steve Kerr, Kenny Smith,, Derek Fisher, all fit the mold of a clutch shooter.
Supporting Cast: Once you get past your star player and secondary star, you need a solid supporting cast who consistently bring different things to the table. Your role players need to bring physicality/toughness, hustle, creativity, and other factors when they are on the court. Your team is only as good as your weakest player so depth is critical.
With those things in mind, where do the Mavericks stand in the championship formula? What are they lacking and who can fill the gaps?