Are The Dallas Mavericks The Sleeper Team In The Western Conference?

Robert BContributor INovember 9, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 30:  Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks scores on a jumper against Lamar Odom #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game at Staples Center on October 30, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

If you listened to the experts predictions this NBA season you would not have even known the Dallas Mavericks existed.  This was the first season the Mavericks were really not hyped up to be a contender to reach the Western Conference Finals that was supposed to be fought between the Lakers, Spurs, Nuggets, and Blazers if you believe what the experts say.  But heres the thing this team is so much better than people expected and one move may have made them a contender again and that was picking up foward Shawn Marion from Toronto.  Many people did not know how Marion would fit in but it is obvious he is a perfect fit to this team, and a perfect addition to a now potent offense.  This team has so many weapons on offense the Superstar do everything man in Dirk Nowitzki, the perfect pure point guard in Jason Kidd, the three point marksman in Jason Terry, a slasher and a player with the ability to get to the rim at will in Shawn Marion, and another just solid scorer in Josh Howard.  Just seven games into the season it may be a little early to crown this team as a challenger for the western conference title, but they have already proven they can win on the road against the best.  Beating the Lakers in LA was absolutely huge for this team's confidence and they sent a message to the best in the west that they will not be an easy out in the playoffs.  Really Marion has been the extra scorer and solid defensive stopper the Mavericks were looking for.  One reason why they may reach the western conference finals is the fact they have become a better defensive team, they are still inconsistent but holding the Lakers to 80 points and the Jazz to 85 points is a good start.  All the pieces are there for this team the only question will the continue their early success and reach their first NBA finals since 2006?