The Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, and other teams have significantly upgraded during the off-season. Plenty of NBA analysts, fans, managers, and even players expect only a hand-full of teams to have a remote chance to contend for a championship next season. In that short list, it is uncommon to find the Dallas Mavericks at this point. That needs to change.
Looking at the Dallas Mavericks rotation, they are as stacked as they can be at almost every single position. Let’s take a look.
Point Guard: While 37 years old, Jason Kidd can still run the point effectively given that he has enough weapons around him to attack with. And he does. Roddy Beaubois will be a bigger factor next year, and Jose Barea is as good as they get for a 10 to 15 minute sub.
Shooting Guard: I will start with Jason Terry here. He is an elite shooting guard, despite having the body of a point guard. While defensively he is a liability at given nights, most of the time Jason Kidd is able to guard the bigger guard. Caron Butler also plays this position, and should be more comfortable in it next season. Regardless, expect him to play (and even start at) small forward next season. Rookie Dominique Jones provides another tough guard at this position that proved capable getting to the paint and to the line in summer league play, and is a consistent jumper away from becoming a solid contributor.
Small Forward: Shawn Marion is still a serviceable forward capable of defending with the best of them. Expect Marion and Butler to share most minutes at this position. Both men are proven players that can be depended on, especially with Kidd running the point.
Power Forward: One of the best, if not the best power forward in the game today. Despite being on the wrong side of thirty, his defense got better, his basketball IQ got better, and his leadership got better. Taking less money to help the home team shows his commitment to winning, something the Mavs will depend on as they have for the past decade. Coming in for Nowitzki will be Shawn Marion and perhaps another free agent acquisition with the Mid-Level Exception. This is a solid rotation to say the least.
Center: This is where the Mavericks significantly upgraded. Dampier is a borderline NBA player at this point, while Chandler, if healthy, is among the leagues best athletic and defensive big men. While Haywood is guaranteed a starting job, the combination of Chandler and Haywood will provide the Mavericks an elite NBA center on the court at all times. Also, they have the services of newly acquired Ian Mahinmi, who has significant upside and talent.
The Dallas Mavericks should be considered among the NBA’s best teams next season. With more experience playing together, and a newly designed front court, expect the Mavericks to battle with the best of them. Don’t fall asleep on this “Powerhouse”.
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