But here we are! I am back and so is the NBA! Teams are feverishly preparing for the beginning of their reduced 66 game schedule, which starts on Christmas day. We have yet one more reason to celebrate the miraculous on December 25th, as the Dallas Mavericks will be hoisting their championship banner up to the heavens. The magical run that led Big D to claim its first Larry O’Brien trophy with a squad that exemplified the word, ‘team’ will finally be honored. Very few people thought that the Mavs would get past the Trail Blazers in the first round, let alone blow past the Lakers, Thunder, and finally the Miami Heat.
While there will be much to celebrate as the players get their rings, this is not the same squad that won the championship last year. Yes Dirk is back to lead the Mavs in their quest to capture ring number two. So are Jason Terry and Jason Kidd. But gone is defensive stalwart Tyson Chandler. J.J Barea has taken his talents to the land of a thousand lakes, signing on with the Timberwolves. Caron Butler will join Blake Griffin and Chris Paul in L.A. These are just a few of the more notable departures from last season.
Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson were not just sitting idly by while their roster was pilfered by the rest of the league. They have been diligently re-loading for another run at glory, giving Coach Rick Carlisle even more offensive weapons and providing that ever important depth that championship teams need.
Key to the Mavs hopes of another successful run includes newcomers Vince Carter, Lamar Odom, and Delante West. Once again, this Mavs team with be filled with experience, a veteran team that knows what it takes to win. Time will tell how the new faces will mesh with the core of this team. We will soon know just how much the Mavs will miss the presence of Tyson Chandler in the paint or Barea coming off the bench to spell Jason Kidd. As the countdown to the new season continues, you know the Smoking Cuban will have you covered! Over the next week, we will be discussing the many moves that the Mavs have made, the impact those moves will have, and predictions for the upcoming season.
One thing is for sure: this season should be interesting and entertaining. In the immortal words of Bart Scott, “Can’t wait!”