Top 7 Changes for Dallas Mavericks to Defend Title

Joel C. Cordes@@bballJoelNBA Associate EditorApril 4, 2012

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The Dallas Mavericks need to wake up and make some changes if they hope to defend their NBA title.

2011’s championship squad truly was lightning in a bottle. Can they hope that the perfect storm will strike twice?

Sure, they won 57 games last year, but it wasn’t until the playoffs began that Dallas became a chemistry juggernaut.

They suddenly became defensively tough, supremely confident and insanely clutch, especially from downtown.

Despite losing stoppers like Tyson Chandler and DeShawn Stevenson, this year’s Mavs have actually been BETTER on defense, inching from 10th to sixth in total points allowed.

But this team has noticeably nosedived on offense, dropping from 11th to 19th in total points scored and 11th to 21st from outside.

More damaging, though? They currently don’t have the lock-tight chemistry that was on display in 2011.

Nagging injuries have kept the roster constantly off-balance, while Lamar Odom has been unable (unwilling?) to fit alongside Dirk Nowitzki.

Jason Terry must start knocking down clutch shots again, Dirk has to start living in the mid-post once more and the Mavericks must find a greater sense of urgency.

Last year’s inspiring title run didn’t just happen as a random series of events.

This squad must rally round each other AND hope that lightning strikes twice. 

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