With a 44-16 record and a plus-3.9 point differential, the Mavericks are on pace to win 59 games this season, which would give them an astonishing and nearly unprecedented 11-straight 50-plus win seasons.
But after over a decade of playoff failures, many NBA observers are understandably bearish on the Mavericks' chances. Dallas is currently getting 12-to-1 odds to win the championship.
After their breathtaking implosions in the 2006 NBA Finals and the 2007 first round, when their 67-win juggernaut fell to an upstart Golden State team in one of the biggest upsets in NBA history, many people in Dallas and around the country gave up on the idea of a Dirk Nowitzki-led team ever winning it all.
Does he have the heart to win a title? The fire to carry a team on his back? The guts to hit a game-winning shot?
Leave aside the fact that the Mavericks had a great chance at winning a championship back in 2003 before he injured his knee in the Western Conference Finals, that Dirk hit a game-tying and-one to send a Game 7 in San Antonio into overtime and that worrying about the intangible mental characteristics of NBA players is an ultimately pointless and childish thing to do.
This Dallas team is different than its predecessors. While they probably shouldn't be the favorites to win the NBA title, they have as good a chance as anyone to finally hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy in mid-June.