Now Way To Be Any Better

Andru LemonContributor IMarch 1, 2010

DALLAS - FEBRUARY 24:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for a shot against DeShawn Stevenson #92 and Brendan Haywood #33 of the Dallas Mavericks on February 24, 2010 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.  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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

In the history of the Dallas Mavericks the one thing that has always (ALWAYS) been lacking has been a consistent man in the middle.  Nellie tried to make things work with Shawn Bradley.  The big Mormon could block shots and basically nothing else except get pushed around.

Dampier was supposed to be the savior.  He has shown flashes of what the Mavs thought they were paying for, but in general he hasn't been anything more than an average center (not surpassing an average of double figures in boards or points, less than 2 blocks per game.) 

Diop also had his flashes, at least in his first tenure, but he was always such a liability on offense, leading to the defense focusing more on Dirk.

But now, not only have the Mavs rid themselves of the J.Ho's distractions and disappointing play, replacing him with a similar yet higher performing player, they have also filled that seemingly infinite void at center.

Brendan Haywood is among the league leaders in rebounds (10th overall, 2nd in offensive boards) and in blocks (third in the league).

That type of play is exactly what the mavericks have been looking for.  They might not have the 2 superstars that the Lakers have (Kidd isn't considered a superstar, but you can't complain about his performance) but Dallas does have a pool of talent and an over mix of players that should give L.A. or any other team a  run for their money.

Maybe the bench isn't as strong as one might wish- Terry is the only player sitting down at tip-off that might make opponents sweat. Despite that, I don't see any real weak spots on this team now that they have a good center.