The Dallas Mavericks' run at the end of last season led them to their first NBA Championship title. The NBA lockout is over and the season is about to get underway in a few days.
The Dallas Mavericks are on top of the mountain, and every other team is going to try and get to where they are. The only place for the Mavericks to go now is down. It is going to be difficult to repeat this season because of all the different factors coming in to play.
The Dallas Mavericks are filled with veterans. In a regular season, that would not be such a bad thing, but after the lockout left the NBA with a 66 game season that will feature games more often than usual, a young athletic team has a better chance of doing well.
An ageing team like the Mavericks requires more time to recover.
Mavericks 2011-12 Starting Lineup Age's
PG: Jason Kidd: 38
SG: Vince Carter: 34
SF: Lamar Odom: 32
PF: Dirk Nowitzki: 33
C: Brendan Haywood: 32
6th Man: Jason Terry: 34
Despite winning the NBA Championship last season, the Mavericks were not the best team in the regular season. This could mean two things: If the Mav's are the top team this regular season, they still could lose in the playoffs. Also, the Mavericks were riding momentum and were not necessarily the best team.
It is not easy to win a championship in any sport and a lot has to do with when the team gets hot. Since the Mavericks are probably not the best team overall, they will once again need momentum to guide them back to the finals.
2010-11 NBA Overall Standings
3. Miami Heat
5. Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks have been built around Dirk basically since he came to the Mavericks in 1998. The other players on the team are basically role players.
The new trend in the NBA has become stars playing on the same team. The Knicks have Carmelo and Stoudemire. Celtics have Pierce, Garnett and Allen. Clippers have recently acquired Chris Paul and have Blake Griffin. The Heat obviously have the big three. The Nets and Lakers are trying to pair their star player with Dwight Howard.
The Mavericks lack that other star alongside Nowitzki. While Vince Carter is a big name and used to be a star in the league, he is older now and is limited to what he can contribute.
Possibly the most important position in basketball is point guard. The Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd is one of the greatest players at his position. However, before last year he had not won a championship, which hindered his legendary status. Now that he has won an NBA Championship, the will to win may not be as strong as it was last season as he enters the end of his career.
As for Dirk Nowitzki, he has been an elite player in the league since coming in. One thing he couldn't do, is lead his team to a Championship title.
Before last year, he was perceived as a player who could not finish and come through when his team needed it the most. Now, Dirk has nothing more to prove. He is an elite player and a champion. Those are the two things that any star tries to achieve in this league and Dirk has achieved it.