Dallas Mavericks: Predicting the Mavs' Starting Lineup for the 2012-13 Season
The Dallas Mavericks had a really rough beginning to their offseason, losing a few of last season's starters.
Not only did they lose some key players, like Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and Brendan Haywood, but they also weren’t able to acquire their top free-agent target, Deron Williams. On top of that, their first-round draft pick from this year’s draft, Jared Cunningham, has a hamstring injury and will most likely miss all of the team’s Summer League games.
The Mavs were able to rectify these losses, however, by signing via free agency and trading for a few players who were starters on other teams last season.
When you combine these new players with some of the current starters the Mavs were able to retain from last season, this team should be in contention to make a deep playoff run once again.
Here are the projected Dallas Mavericks starters for the 2012-13 season.
PG: Darren Collison
The Mavericks needed to add a new point guard who could start right away after missing out on Deron Williams during free agency and losing Jason Kidd and Jason Terry to other teams.
Collison is only entering his fourth year in the NBA, but he has a lot of experience since he’s played at least 27 minutes per game every season he’s been in the league.
Last season was the worst year of his career, but Collison still managed to put up 10.3 points and 4.8 assists per game. He will be out to prove last season was just a fluke when he looks to start for his third team in four years.
SG: Vince Carter
Entering this offseason, it was unsure whether or not Vince Carter would be back with the Dallas Mavericks next season. It appears he will be, though, after the team exercised his option on July 1.
Carter has clearly lost a step and put up the worst scoring total of his career last season: 10.1 points per game. Last season was also the first time in Carter’s career that he averaged less than 10 field goal attempts per game.
Despite this, Carter is still the most experienced shooting guard the Mavericks have and will get the starting role like he did during 40 games last season. Carter hasn’t started in just 39 games during his 14-year career and will be looking to eclipse the 1,000 starts mark with at least 53 starts this season.
SF: Shawn Marion
Shawn Marion had minor shoulder surgery this offseason but should be back in his starting role at small forward next season.
Marion has started in every game that he’s played in for the Mavs during two out of his three seasons with the team. Despite being 34 years old, he still managed to play in 30.5 minutes per game last season and has only missed 12 games during his three seasons with the team.
Marion’s scoring total was one of the worst of his career last season at only 10.6 points per game, but he still played great defense and was all over both the offensive and defensive boards. Assuming the team doesn’t trade him in an attempt to get younger, Marion should start at small forward during every game this season.
PF: Dirk Nowitzki
This was the most obvious out of all of the projected starters.
During his career with the Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki has started in over 1,000 games. Since his rookie season, he has started every game he’s played in except two, one in 2000 and one in 2010. He currently ranks fifth out of all active NBA players in games started.
Dirk Nowitzki has been an extremely prolific scorer his entire 14-year career and has an average of 22.9 points per game. He’s been even more dominant in the postseason, where his scoring average increases to 25.9 points per game.
Expect much of the same from Nowitzki this season as he aims to lead the Mavs to the championship for the second time in three seasons.
C: Chris Kaman
The biggest reason the Mavs had a down year last season after winning the title the year before was because their center, Tyson Chandler, bolted Dallas for the New York Knicks.
Kaman was an All-Star just two seasons ago, but has been hampered by injuries and has played in fewer than 50 games in three out of the past four seasons. If he can stay healthy, though, Kaman will bring to the Mavs the defensive presence in the middle that they used to have with Chandler plus a much more dynamic low post scorer.