After a busy and successful offseason, the Dallas Mavericks have four All-Star caliber players in their starting lineup. Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler, Monta Ellis, and Chandler Parsons will all have the opportunity to make their cases this season.
We ask, of the four, which will have the biggest season?
Bailey Rogers: I hate to sound like a broken record here, but Parsons will have the biggest season. Mark my words, he will be the engine that drives the offense, with his ability to play equally well in tandem with either Monta or Dirk. Don’t be surprised if he has the most minutes per game of any player on the team and averages something close to 20-5-5.
I think people are skeptical of Parsons because they assume that Dallas Parsons will be the same as Houston Parsons. Far too many NBA fans, bloggers, etc. underestimate the value of elite coaching. They also tend to underestimate the value of playing next to Dirk. I can’t wait to watch Parsons flourish this season.
Ace Feltman: Biggest season? Dirk. But in relative terms I can’t wait to see Monta Ellis play with an offensively capable small forward at his side. Sure, the floor spacing of Calderon is gone but Parsons makes up for that and Devin Harris/Raymond Felton aren’t futile shooters, just under average. I’m really, really excited to see Monta this year score around 20 PPG, 5 APG but more importantly continue to grow as a really good 2nd option.
Sameer Moosa: Monta Ellis. Now, this doesn’t mean that Ellis is the best player on the team. That title still belongs to Dirk and will always belong to Dirk. However, Ellis will probably improve the most with the new pieces the Mavs have acquired.
Tyson Chandler will actually be able to catch a pass in the paint, unlike butter-fingered Sam Dalembert, and Parsons gives Monta a three-point threat to dish it out to when Ellis is driving hard to the basket, which is something the Mavs didn’t consistently have last year with Shawn Marion. This should increase his assist numbers dramatically. Jameer Nelson might not be as good as Calderon, but he can still knock down three’s consistently and dish it to Monta.
Even Richard Jefferson could help Monta excel with his three-point shot. Opponents will have to pay more attention to these threats, especially Parsons, which should open up the lane more for Monta to attack the rim. I do feel like this is the year Ellis will finally break through to become an All-Star, even though he’s probably earned it before but never got it.