5. Biggest misconception of the season
Bailey Roger (@BRogers789): That this team wouldn't be better than last year's team. It still blows my mind that people though this wasn't a playoff-caliber team. I was skeptical about Monta, and I still felt plenty confident that there was absolutely no way this team could possibly be as bad as last year. And of course, the Mavs proved all those haters wrong.
Josh Bowe (@Boweman55): That Dirk was on his way out. Last season for Dirk was a mess, injuries and all. But it seemed insane that a decent amount of people thought this was the beginning of the end for him. For the first time in years, Dirk entered this season with a full-summer of his normal training and a full training camp and preseason. That enough gave me confidence that the old Dirk would return and sure enough, he did. Dirk might not be at his 2003-2011 level, but he's pretty close. And he's still got a couple of more years at this high level.
Alan Smithee (@SmitheeMMB): Well I had no idea this was even a thing until the playoffs but listening to the national broadcast studio/commentary teams discuss how Monta Ellis was the Mav's best player was shocking and laughable. Not to dis Monta, but it's painfully evident how important Dirk is to the team, on and off the court, and if Monta's play has improved(and I'm not so sure he has all that much) it's largely due to the pressure Dirk takes off of him. The team's spacing is built around Dirk. Their identity is Dirk. I'm not necessarily bothered by the media's ignorance, but it is remarkable.
Andrew Tobolowsky (@andytobo): The biggest misconception--and we were all guilty of it at one point or another--was that the Mavs were always on the brink of being exposed, and that they were somehow doing this in spite of themselves. Like they just fell down and kept finding themselves somehow still in games, somehow pulling things out. Yes, the defense was way worse than anyone could expect from a good team, but with 89 games under our belts I think it's fair to say that the Dallas Mavericks of 2013-2014 simply were a top ten team in the NBA.
Kirk Henderson (@KirkSeriousFace): The defense could be improved. We all tinkered with the notion of making this roster move or that line-up change would help fix the defense. But any line up that features Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis, and Dirk Nowitzki at the same time was bound to be bad bordering on terrible.
Doyle Rader (@TheKobeBeef): The biggest misconception was that a team full of players over 30 years old cannot compete in the league. Dallas showed that they can and got valuable contributions from all of their aged players. It’s not something they should continue to rely on, though.