The Dallas Mavericks are coming off their first title in franchise history - and they will win their second this season. Yes, the Dallas Mavericks will repeat as NBA Champions.
The Mavericks lost key players in JJ Barea, Tyson Chandler, and DeShawn Stevenson, but the core of their roster remains with the returns of Jason Terry, Brendan Haywood, Shawn Marion, Jason Kidd, and Dirk Nowitzki.
The team acquired Lamar Odom from the Lakers via trade and signed veteran guard Vince Carter to pair with Kidd in the back court. The team also signed guard Delonte West.
This year, the Mavs feature a team with yet another strong bench and a strong starting five with Kidd, Carter, Marion, Nowitzki, and Haywood. They will feature two sixth man of the year players in Odom and Terry coming off the bench.
Marion and Odom will likely split time at small and power forward and Odom is especially valuable because he can run the role of point forward and keep the offense running smoothly.
The key for this team will be the play of new starter Brendan Haywood.
Haywood was supposed to be the answer at center last season, but the Mavs signed Tyson Chandler and he ended up winning the starting job.
Haywood played limited minutes last season but was productive the season before while starting (8 ppg, 7 rpg).
He is a strong defender and a big body to clog up the paint as well as being a solid rebounder and post scorer. If he can hold down the paint like Chandler did last season, the Mavs will remain a good defensive team. If he can continue to play well down the stretch, the Mavs will be title bound once again this season.