Dallas Mavericks: 7 Obstacles Standing Between Them and an NBA Finals Repeat
Every year, teams face numerous obstacles they need to overcome to win a championship and this year will be no different for the Mavericks.
Just because they won the title last season doesn't make it any easier for next season. Here are seven obstacles that will stand in the way of the Mavericks' goal for a repeat.
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Most people will agree that this was the last window of opportunity for the Mavericks to win a title. This is because most of their core of players are in their mid-30s.
Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry and Shawn Marion are all 33. Jason Kidd is 38. This team needs an infusion of youth if they want to repeat.
Playing deep into June does not do them any favors either. Playing two consecutive seasons into June will be a mountainous task for an aging team.
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Before we even start talking about a season, the NBA needs to settle its lockout situation. If the season is lost that means the players just mentioned in the previous slide will become a year older.
Many believe that the end of the lockout will be the beginning of a hard salary cap. Dallas has six players entering free agency once the lockout ends and this does not bode well for them if there is a hard cap.
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LeBron and the Heat are going to be a lot better come next season, as they have experience playing with each other now. Last year was sort of an experimental year for the team and nobody really expected them to make the finals, but they did.
LeBron James is even hungrier now. He keeps getting unnecessarily bashed by the media, claiming he is not a clutch player; yet he's proven to be clutch many times during his career.
Look for the Heat to come out stronger than ever before next season.
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Kobe calls himself the Black Mamba. However, in many ways, he's an elephant that never forgets. The Mavericks' sweep of the Lakers is still fresh in his memory. Don't think he'll forget; and the Lakers will be back again next season.
The lockout may benefit the Lakers the most because they spent three consecutive seasons in the finals, so they were wore out during last season's playoffs.
After a disappointing finish, Kobe and the Lakers will be motivated. We all saw what a motivated Lakers team can do after getting smashed by the Celtics in Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals—they came out and won two straight titles.
The Mavs will have to deal with an invigorated Lakers team next season.
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The up-and-coming star gained valuable experience in last season's Eastern Conference Finals defeat.
The MVP is one year older now and his hunger for an NBA championship is a desire that can't be stopped. The Bulls will actively shop during free agency, and perhaps even try to get former Maverick Caron Butler to help Derrick Rose in his quest for a championship.
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After losing to the Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals, the young Oklahoma City Thunder have even more experience.
Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Kendrick Perkins are looking for revenge from the Mavs and they are extremely motivated. Their stars are entering the prime of their careers.
Meanwhile, Dallas' stars are exiting their prime. The Mavs will have their hands full with the Thunder.
The Championship Hangover
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One of the most difficult tasks in sports is to win consecutive championships, and we've discussed how other teams like the Lakers, Heat, Thunder and Bulls have a new source of motivation after unsuccessful seasons last year.
Can the Mavericks find that same motivation? It will be difficult. It's only natural for a team to lose some desire and hunger for a championship after they just won.
It will be interesting to see how the Mavs deal with the championship hangover.