May 5, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) shoots in the third quarter against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nick Collison (4) during game four of the 2012 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Mavericks still looking good with new pieces


The Dallas Mavericks did not get Deron Williams over the offseason; so is there even a reason for the MFFL to get excited?

 

To the fans out there planning on only following the Cowboys this winter because of the embarrassment they are afraid to witness, there are outliers people are forgetting that could lead this Mavs team to 2012-2113 success.

 

While Dirk will always be the face of the franchise, even after he retires, he is not the most important piece.

 

The guy on the bench yelling out sets is not Jim Carrey researching for a new role in a movie. He is one of the most successful coaches in the last decade. In the ten years Rick Carlisle has spent as a head coach he has only one season where his team did not reach the playoffs. On top of that, he has reached four conference finals including the 2011 playoff run with Dallas to his first ring.

 

Have NBA fans forgotten the value of star coaches in favor of investing everything into the superstar talents?

 

The Nuggets are still winning ball games and giving the top teams in the West all kinds of hell with no star player in sight but still standing next to the scores table is George Karl. Because of the leadership and respect his players have for him they mesh and consistently finish the season above .500.

 

The Mavs aren’t even considered an old team any more. Over half of the players currently on the Mavs roster are 28 years old or younger. Granted, most of the elder statesmen of the team are getting the majority of playing time we can no longer say that this team is sponsored by WD-40 and Depends.

 

With this roster, which is very comparable to the 2011 team,  the Mavericks can honestly find their way into the top echelon of teams in the west. Which means a possible three seed and probably no lower than a fifth seed.

 

Don’t get me wrong; the West is loaded. The Thunder are just as good as last year, the Spurs will always win games, Portland and Denver will be tough to beat and the city of Los Angeles has become the NBA capital of the world.

 

LA has two star-studded teams:  Clippers with Griffin, Caron, Chauncey and Paul and the Lakers with arguably the most expensive starting lineup ever assembled,  not to mention two players with MVPs sitting on their mantles (Kobe 2008, Nash 2005, 2006).

 

In this mix of Western Conference teams lie the Mavericks who appeared to dig their own grave at the beginning of the off-season.

 

No Deron Williams meant no Kidd. Then the JET left DFW and landed at Logan International leaving Marion and Dirk as the only major contributors to the 2011 championship team. Mav fans have lived by the Cuban “go big or go home” system but this surely sent them on a nonstop ticket to the latter.

 

And you can’t forget about the rookies the Mavs drafted either.

 

Rookies Jae Crowder and Bernard James tore things up in the summer league. Both are averaged over 10 points a game with Crowder leading the team at 16.6 points per game.

 

James showed he is a consistent offensive presence in the paint with a field goal percentage of .605 and for good measures swatted away 2.6 blocks of his opponents’ shots to boot, a defensive post presence that is reminiscent of what Tyson Chandler provided the team a couple of years ago. Is James the second coming of Tyson?  Not yet; he has a long way to go.  But the numbers never lie.  The kid looks promising.

 

Now don’t think this is the roster of a dynasty or a roster built for success in three years. This team will be demolished just like the others in pursuit of that big name player, leaving Maverick fans on a cliffhanger once the last second of the season ticks off the clock.

 

The Dallas front office got lucky and saved this season with multiple last ditch efforts to get players to fill in the gaping roster spots.

 

Hopefully I wont have to write a similar “don’t worry everything is okay” story come this time next year.

April 12, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle reacts during the third quarter against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena. The Mavericks defeated the Warriors 112-103. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE


Tags: Dirk Nowitzk NBA NBA. Dallas Mavericks Popular Rick Carlisle Summer League