Comparing Current Dallas Mavericks Team with the 2011 Championship Team

Andy HuSenior Writer IIJanuary 31, 2013

Comparing Current Dallas Mavericks Team with the 2011 Championship Team

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    Two seasons ago, the Dallas Mavericks claimed their first title in franchise history, led by their franchise superstar Dirk Nowitzki

    Less than two years later, the Mavericks got swept in the first round of the 2012 NBA playoffs, and are now struggling to even stay in the playoff race with a revamped roster.

    How does a team go from winning a glorified championship to wading around in mediocrity in such a short amount of time? 

    This slideshow will break down and compare the current Mavericks at each position with the players from their 2010-2011 championship team.

Point Guard

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    2011: Jason Kidd and J.J. Barea

    Rodrigue Beaubois was also the third-string point guard of the 2011 team, but he was injured throughout the whole playoffs and played only 28 games in the whole season.

    The 2011 Mavericks team was led by a 37-year-old Jason Kidd. He averaged around 28 minutes a game during the regular season, but that number jumped to 35 minutes per game during the playoff run. 

    Kidd led the team in assists (8.2), as well as contributing 7.9 PPG, 4.4 RPG and 1.7 SPG on a rather atrocious 36 percent shooting from the field (per Basketball Reference). 

    However, stats don't tell the whole story with Kidd. He's one of the greatest leaders of the game today and his steady, consistent production at his position is the reason why he's still playing at a high level.

    J.J. Barea was the X-factor of this group. The 5'11 point guard was probably the best backup point guard a team could ask for. He contributed 9.5 PPG and 3.9 APG in just 20 minutes of playing time a night, and his spark off the bench was key for the Mavericks throughout the whole season.

    Current: Darren Collison, Mike James, Rodrigue Beaubois

    Darren Collison is the current starting point, but his inconsistencies throughout the season have led to Rick Carlisle benching him.

    Simply put, Collison has just been average so far. His 12.9 PPG and 5.2 APG with 2.3 TO is far from excellent, but it wasn't like he was expected to become a superstar after joining the team in the offseason.

    In fact, he has been solid lately, but he will never have the intangibles and leadership that Kidd brought to this club during his tenure.

    Furthermore, the Mavericks went through a handful of point guard experiments and chose to stick with Collison as the starter, so that definitely doesn't say much about the organization's trust in someone like Beaubois.

Shooting Guard

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    2011: Jason Terry and DeShawn Stevenson

    Terry was the unquestionable second-best player on the 2011 Mavericks roster. At the end of games, he was even the first option at times when players used to trap Dirk Nowitzki

    During the 2010-2011 season, Terry put up 15.8 PPG and 4.1 APG while playing the third-most minutes of any Maverick. At times, he would take over the point guard role for brief stints to allow Jason Kidd to rest.

    In Game 6 of the NBA Finals, Terry had one of his most memorable performances, recording 27 points on 11-for-16 shooting as he helped the Mavericks clinch their first ever title.

    Stevenson, on the other hand, started the majority of the games at shooting guard after Caron Butler went down with an injury. He was a potent three-point shooter and provided a certain toughness on defense that the current Mavericks roster lacks.

    Current: O.J. Mayo and Vince Carter

    In a realistic point of view, the current Mayo is probably a better player than the 2011 Terry. Mayo is registering better stats across the board, and he acted as the first option on the team during Nowitzki's injury (via Yahoo! Sports).

    Mayo, like Terry, is undoubtedly the second-best player on this team. He's a prominent catch-and-shooter, while also being able to create plays for his teammates when called upon.

    Carter's best days are obviously behind him, but he is still a valuable swingman off the bench. At 36 years old, not too much is expected from Carter, and his contributions are what the Mavericks expected from him.

    He's a solid wing defender, but he doesn't bring that edge and toughness that Stevenson brought to the team two years ago—albeit he's still a better scorer.

Small Forward

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    2011: Shawn Marion and Peja Stojakovic

    In 2011, the Matrix was 32 years old and lost a huge chunk of the explosiveness he used to possess back in his Phoenix days.

    However, he was still a valuable role player, and did all of the dirty work to help this Mavericks team win the title. His tenacious defense and scrappy rebounding, along with his leadership in the locker room proved to be invaluable for this veteran team.

    Stojakovic, like most of the players on this team, was well past his prime, but his adept shooting abilities greatly gave the team an instant spark off the bench.

    In Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals, the Yugoslavian sharpshooter shot a perfect 6-for-6 from three-point land to clinch the series and sweep against the then-defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.

    Current: Shawn Marion and Dahntay Jones

    Two years later and the Matrix is just one of two players remaining from the 2011 starting lineup. 

    Although Marion's game has surprisingly aged well, he's still 34 years old. His defense and rebounding abilities are still there, as well as the hustle and energy he brings every night.

    Jones, who was largely a throw-in with the Indiana trade, hasn't been shooting too well. As an Indiana Pacer last season, Jones shot an outrageous 43 percent from beyond the arc. This season, he's averaging an atrocious 25 percent from there.

    At times, Carlisle goes to Jones at the end of games to defend the opposing team's elite wings, but that's just about everything he's done so far. 

Power Forward

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    2011: Dirk Nowitzki and Ian Mahinmi

    Not much to explain here. 

    In 2011, a 32-year-old Nowitzki had one of his best regular seasons in his career, shooting a career-best 52 percent from the field. He topped off his spectacular regular season with an immortal performance in the playoffs.

    Mahinmi spent time at both the power forward and center spots, but he brought great energy and defense off of the bench. He would be a part of the offseason trade, as mentioned earlier, which brought Collison and Jones to the team.

    Current: Dirk Nowitzki and Elton Brand

    The only difference between the 2011 Nowitzki and the current one, is age. He can still put up 20 points a game and conduct his patented one-legged fadeaway, but his overall movements on the court seem a bit sluggish at times and he hasn't been shooting the ball as well as before.

    Brand, on the other hand, should've been a noticeable upgrade over Mahinmi. There was a reason why the Philadelphia 76ers waived him in the offseason—he obviously can't live up to his $18 million contract.

    With that said, Brand has still been a solid contributor. He still knows how to play defense and his short free-throw line jumper looks as good as ever.

    But at 33 years old, he's not getting younger. If there's one player that won't be with the Mavericks next season, it's Brand.


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    2011: Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood

    If there was one decision that Mark Cuban wishes he could undo, it's letting Tyson Chandler walk in the 2011 offseason right after they won the title.

    Chandler was the defensive anchor, paint clogger and vicious rebounder that pushed this team to the next level. Although Nowitzki was the best player on the team, Chandler is the most valuable. 

    His recent selection to the All-Star team just proves how much Chandler means to his team. He doesn't fill up the stat sheet, but he does everything a 7'0" center needs to do—contesting every shot near the rim, finish pick-and-rolls, crash the glass and set hard screens.

    Current: Chris Kaman, Brandon Wright, Bernard James

    Kaman is a good big man with a bigger offensive repertoire than Chandler, but he's nowhere near him in defensive and intimidation factor. This Mavericks team already has enough players who can put points on the board, so Kaman hasn't found his niche yet.

    Wright is a younger, more athletic center who's improving on both ends of the floor, but doesn't have the length or rebounding prowess of Chandler either.

    James is more of a natural shot-blocker out of all three, and he is the most likely to develop into a defensive stopper in the paint out of all three. Right now though, none of these centers are as valuable to the team as Chandler was to the 2011 Mavericks.


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    At a quick glance, every position from point guard to power forward doesn't seem to predominantly favor the 2011 Mavericks team, or the current team.

    Collison is a capable point guard, and he has proved it in the past. Statistically speaking, he's a better scorer than Kidd was, while being a slightly worse distributor. 

    At shooting guard, Mayo's play so far should actually give him the edge over Terry. Despite that, the Terry and Stevenson combination worked much better, because both shooting guards brought different skills to the table.

    In both forward spots, the primary players—Marion and Nowitzki—haven't changed, but they have showed signs of age, especially Nowitzki.

    The biggest difference between these two teams is Chandler. We've seen a Mavericks team without Chandler last year struggle throughout the regular season and getting swept in the first round. 

    Now, this current Mavericks team is in an even worse situation because the roster was basically blown up in the offseason. They might not even make the playoffs at this point, so it just goes to show how important Chandler was during his brief stint in Dallas.