Why the Mavs will Surprise People in 2016
The 2016 NBA is approaching quickly. The Dallas Mavericks are coming into the year with expectations all over the place. Most have this squad barely making the playoffs, or not making it at all. Dallas may surprise those people this year.
Dallas once again failed to reel in their top coveted free agents this summer. One thing was different this time around though. Dallas actually got themselves some high quality players.
The Mavericks have never presented anyone a “sexy” lineup. Even in their NBA Finals winning year, they were the clear underdog in the series and were heavily outmatched. This roster may very well be the best roster presented from Dallas in over a decade.
The additions of Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut give the Mavericks two legitimate starters in this league, both have won a championship as well.
Barnes is expected to breakout in the upcoming year, and Bogut is going to be that rim protector the Mavericks have desperately needed since Tyson Chandler left.
To fill out the rest of the starting lineup, returning starters Deron Williams, Wesley Matthews, and Dirk Nowitzki plan to continue their growing chemistry going into their second year together.
Behind Deron Williams, the Mavericks will present their usual group of guys in Devin Harris and J.J. Barea. These two have provided great backup play at the position in recent years, and will even play at the same time in certain situations.
Coming off the bench for Wesley Matthews will be one of the more exciting new faces in Dallas, Seth Curry. Obviously sneaking behind his brother’s fame, Seth had a quietly good year last year. He finally got some playing time at the end of the season with the Sacramento Kings, and showed he can certainly ball.
In the backup role of Barnes, the Mavericks rookie standout Justin Anderson comes in. Anderson didn’t get much playing time in the beginning of his rookie campaign. He was then thrown into a starting role at the end of the season and had a huge role in the Mavericks rotation as they slid into their playoff spot.
Dirk Nowtizki will still be able to put in key minutes this season. He now also has a backup that the Mavericks find very intriguing. Dwight Powell was basically the leftover piece that came with Rajon Rondo in that huge deal that never worked out. Now, Powell is the only one left.
He signed back with Dallas this summer but claims his work ethic will not change because of the money. He is young and seems to be pouring with potential. It’s up to him to put it all together.
Behind Bogut, Salah Mejiri and rookie A.J. Hammons will share minutes. Mejiri provided a huge spark for Dallas in the playoffs when Zaza Pachulia was in a slump and secured his roster position.
Hammons was selected in the 2nd round in the most recent draft, but is expected to display 1st round talent. These guys should certainly be able to hold down the middle while Bogut takes a breather.
The roster itself already looks better than any other roster in recent Mavericks memory. Another key aspect to Dallas having success this year is their chemistry. 3 of the starters on this team played together last year, and they’re all veterans.
The two new guys? They’re both coming from the same team. The same team that has been to 2 straight NBA finals and has won one.
Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes are good friends. This is a main reason why Bogut chose to come to Dallas when he had a choice of where to be traded.
These guys should have it all down together and be ready to get work in with the other guys that have been in Dallas together. It should gel very well.
This team should be a great defensive squad. Besides Nowitzki, who has his moments on that side of the ball, Dallas will have four guys in their starting lineup who can really get in a stance and play some defense.
Williams and Matthews can lock down their perimeter threats. Barnes is long and can contain small forwards on a nightly basis. Bogut is a premiere rim protector and will make everything so much easier on all of the Mavericks.
Between a solid roster, great chemistry, and great defense, the Dallas Mavericks should have a legitimate shot at earning themselves a solid playoff spot.
The main objective in the West every year was to avoid playing the top 3 seeds. In 2016, that is not the case. Oklahoma City is no longer a team scaring anyone in the first round with the loss of Kevin Durant.
Next: Dallas Mavericks: Top 5 Most Important Opponents This Season
Dallas has a great chance to make a push into deeper rounds this season, where they’ll have to either take down Golden State or San Antonio. Rick Carlisle somehow gets this team to the playoffs every single year. Playoff talent is actually there this season. Dallas is exciting and could raise some eyebrows this year with their performance.