The 2008 NBA Season is just around the corner. Most teams are still debating which player to give their final roster spot, but one team concerns me.
The Dallas Mavericks have had their fair share of success this decade, although more often than not they come up short when it comes to the NBA Championship (see 2006 NBA Finals).
The Mavs have had controversy every off season since Mark Cuban took over the team in 2000. Mark Cuban's decisions to leave past teams intact after a semi-slump years and constant tinkering with major pieces, such as the 2002 team that won 60 games, has seemed a bit odd.
Cuban is more successful than 99.9% of the population, and in more than just the business aspect of things, but the decisions made involving the Mavericks in the off season seem to boggle one's mind. This becomes more evident after last year's "disappointing" season ended so early for the former MVP in Nowitzki and soon to be Hall-of-Famer, Kidd.
Everyone will argue that the trade killed the Mavs last year, and it seems fairly obvious that the Mavericks failed to improve after that "blockbuster deal." Those who still believe in the Mavs will tell you though, Harris was and is still years away from his peak, and Kidd still plays at a high level. They will also say the new coach, who is not so new after 6 months in Dallas now, will better suit this Mavs team.
I think the Mavs are in trouble.
Age is a concern, and continues to concern as time ticks bye to the Dirk era in Big D. Dirk's abilities are simply amazing and he is a top 5 player worldwide, but he lacks abilities on defense and down low. He struggles to close out games at times and cannot do it himself, otherwise the Mavs would have several rings by now. Kidd's age has brought him back down to earth and J-Ho has regressed into a delinquent that acts like an immature teen desperately seeking anyone's attention.
I love the Mavs and wish nothing but success for them, but until they change their style, blow up their roster, get younger, get veteran leadership (Kidd has not lead anywhere but towards summer vacation) or something cool we have not seen before, we can all expect the same from the Mavs this year.
The preseason is somewhat worthless besides allowing players to get back in shape and find their timing. That being said, the Mavs have yet to show their ability to run and cater towards Kidd as they have said repeatedly they would. Last year's disappointment was due to the inability to have training camp with Kidd, but training camp is almost over and the Mavs appear to be the exact same team.
Don't get me wrong, Green will get his dunks, Diop will help fill the void in the middle, and Wright and Williams help provide more young talent and athleticism, but these appear to be temporary plugs. The cracks are still there, and when it falters you can expect Cuban to make another move...but sooner or later he will get it right. Right?