The Dallas Mavericks have been a consistently good franchise this past decade. Perhaps the saddest thing about that statement, is that, the franchise and city alike know the Mavericks have been capable of greatness.
Unfortunately their inability to turn their strong regular season performances into consistently deep playoff-runs has hindered them, making them an afterthought behind dominant franchises like the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs.
They've come close, like at the 2006 playoffs where Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks unfortunately ran into the emerging legacy of Dwyane Wade. However, since then, nobody has really believed they could truly win a championship.
It's not like they helped their cause either, losing to the lowly eighth seeded Golden State Warriors in the post-season just the following year.
This year is different.
A sudden change-up at the trade deadline has seen the Mavericks come out with a straight-up scary lineup. Lead by perennial cornerstone Dirk Nowitzki and future Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd, the Mavericks finally look poised to claim that ever elusive championship.
This is the time to deliver as Nowitzki in particular, has all the help he could need. Gone are the days where Maverick fans could complain about the supporting cast, or the fact that at times Nowitzki has been so heavily scrutinized by the media despite carrying a proud Dallas franchise and city on his shoulders.
Caron Butler is capable of taking over a game, and hitting clutch shots. With Shawn Marion he gives the Mavericks two of the games most versatile forwards, and best defenders. Brendan Haywood has already shown what he's capable of doing, averaging 11.1 PPG, 10.7 RPG, and 2.9 BPG since arriving in Texas.
With Erick Dampier hopefully at full strength come post-season, Haywood and Damp will create a physical, intimidating two-headed monster in the middle; a more than capable defensive presence against any team in the NBA.
Add in the leadership and instant offense of Jason "The Jet" Terry in addition to key role players like J.J. Barea and rookie point guard Rodrigue Beaubois and the lineup is terrifying.
With these added weapons comes a great deal of expectations, but with recent wins against the Magic, Lakers, and Hawks the Mavericks have shown they are more than capable. Especially when considering this team isn't even near their ceiling in terms of team chemistry and operating together on the court at full potential.
Opposing teams should be terrified, as all the pieces are present, and the Dallas Mavericks are poised to play until June.