It may not be a group that can contend for a title right now, but the Mavericks aren't in as bad a shape as their detractors think.
Just compare them to last season's squad. Dirk missed 29 games and Mike James started 23 times at the point. For almost half the season, O.J. Mayo was Dallas' most important player. And even with all that, Rick Carlisle somehow managed to lead them to a .500 record.
Now, they've significantly upgraded their starting lineup and added depth at key points. They're set up to surprise some people. And I can think of 15 specific ways they will.
All stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference unless otherwise noted.