Anticipation for this upcoming NBA season hasn't just hit the boiling point, it's boiling over. All the professional basketball fans around the country almost have to consciously remind themselves not to salivate at this point.
As the start of this year's campaign approaches, I imagine every team getting more excited at the prospect of taking on the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers. There are few squads that legitimately have what it takes to compete with those two teams (but apparently, FC Barcelona is one of them).
The Lakers and Heat will likely finish the regular season as the top team in each of their respective conferences. However, both will have one or two teams that will be pushing them throughout. In the West, that team is the Dallas Mavericks.
Dirk Nowitzki and his band of Merry Mavs are in prime position to capture their 11th straight 50-win season, and their fourth division title in the last nine seasons. They will finish just behind the Lakers for second in the West.