It is incredible how swiftly the Dallas Mavericks' 2011 championship has been swept under the rug. Their star players from the playoff run have only needed one full year to be largely forgotten. After a period of finally getting attention, they have gone right back to being underrated.
The player ratings from NBA 2K13 emphasize the narrative that has gone with these players recently. Three of their key players from the championship are being treated like fading relics who cannot contribute anymore.
Dirk Nowitzki: 85
An 85 is a fairly insulting rating for a perennial All-Star player who was recently the NBA Finals MVP. Even in a down year in 2011-12, Dirk ranked 21st in the league in PER among qualifying players.
He has made the last 11 All-Star teams and the last 12 All-NBA teams. Scoring 21.6 points per game on 46 percent shooting was a down year for him, which says an awful lot about his up years.
At 34, he most likely still has good basketball left in him. He is actually the same age as Kobe Bryant, who is still an All-NBA first-teamer.
Tyson Chandler: 77
Of the title-winning Mavericks, center Tyson Chandler is the most underrated. He was the second-best player on a championship team one year.
Ranking Chandler as a 77—behind players like Jeff Green, Stephen Jackson, Carlos Boozer and Kemba Walker—is the most egregious underrating in the entire game.
Chandler's career has been defined by lack of respect, and that is likely to continue. New York Knicks fans should still be happy that they have one of the most efficient and consistent players in the NBA on their team.
Shawn Marion: 79
The criticism of the Mavericks over the past year has not made a whole lot of sense. While they lost in the first round of the playoffs, it was against the Oklahoma City Thunder—the best team in an extremely deep Western Conference. Moreover, every game in that series was close.
Players like Shawn Marion—who put up 11.8 points and 8.0 rebounds per game in the 2012 playoffs—continue to give solid contributions. The 79 rating does little to say how key of a player Marion has been for the Mavericks since 2009.
Many people will continue to doubt the Mavericks and consider them bottom-feeders in the Western Conference. Nevertheless, they remain playoff contenders and a team that top teams would hate to play in the first round.