In Mavericks history, the 2012 campaign will go down as a disappointing season marred with the lockout, inconsistency, and Lamar Odom. Even compared to previous, non-championship years, the Mavericks did not achieve the same sort of success they were used to. But this team does stand out in one particular area compared to the past: 2012 produced some of the greatest Maverick highlights we've seen in quite some time.
Now for the better part of the decade, the Mavericks have been fortunate to watch Dirk Nowitzki on a daily basis. I'd like to argue that every fading, falling, one-footed jumper he takes and makes deserves to be on some sort of highlight reel. There's twenty, thirty, forty NBA players who can throw down a windmill dunk, but how many can hit Dirk's shot over and over and over again? But this year, in addition to the usual reDirkulous shots, the Mavericks had some of those crazy dunks that everyone always gets so excited about.
Most of the credit should be attributed to the off-season acquisitions of Brenden Wright and Vince Carter, two living highlight reels thanks to their world-class athleticism. They are at opposite ends of their career -- Wright still young and maturing, while Carter is slowing down but still has some left in the tank -- but between the two they could make anything interesting. I'm sure most Maverick fans will agree with me when I say I'd love to have both of them back next year for the right price.
The top ten list is forthcoming, but there were a handful of plays which I just couldn't fathom leaving off. Here they are, presented as Honorable Mentions. Before you start, I'd encourage you go find a nice Laz-E-Boy, pop some popcorn, maybe even dim the lights. Just do it, your boss will understand.
I couldn't justify putting a shot that did not count in the top ten, but this was Vince Carter at his finest. He's best known for his ridiculous dunks while jumping over people blindfolded juggling swords, but his Vinsanity title emerged from shots like this. Honestly, I'm sure he hits this shot on a regular basis in practice. He's that good at making impossible shots.
Quick Carter sidenote: If you're still bored after watching the Honorable Mentions here, go kill some time by watching this three part Carter montage. It's basketball porn, except so much more elegant. Here's part one, part two, and part three.
Crazy pass by the JET, here, who we will see had the best chemistry with Wright out of any Maverick on the team. The difficulty here is not exceptionally high, but top notch points for the timing and the creativity.
Yes, this features that Laker dude, but the pass here is cray. No look, perfectly timed bounce pass to the mitts for the dunk. You can't do that any better than Kidd did there.
Mahinmi also helped make the season exciting, to a lesser extent. Extended minutes to a young big man like himself, and you're guaranteed at least a few highlights. Here, he crams on everybody's least favorite New Jersey Net (why people hate him, I'm not quite sure, but whatever). Hump is also a former Maverick, for like half a season, just in case you needed a reminder.
Incredible, pinpoint accuracy on this one. West really shows off his athleticism here as he explodes towards Hayward's ear. No, but seriously, this is one of the funniest things I've ever seen happen during an NBA game.
It wasn't enough for Carter to up fake and get the step on the Kings, he had to take off and glide in for a dunk from the middle of the lane too. Revving the motorcycle at the end is just icing on the cake.
We all know Roddy has impressive athleticism, and he flaunts it right here. Not only does he block a power forward with eight inches on him, he does it flat footed. It's also nice to deny Rubio the highlight that should have been his.
Great timing on this soaring putback for Carter, who snagged the ball with his off-hand, pulled it back in, then flushed it through.
(Ed. Note: Feel free to chime in with your favorite of these in the comments below. Stay tuned for numbers 6-10 later this week. In case you missed it, this is a continuation of the MMB10. Here's part one and part two of the top ten individual performances by Mavericks this past season. Oh, and hit the button below and follow me on twitter!)