9. 2013-2014 Dallas Mavericks
The 2013-14 season for Dallas was tricky. I placed them on the top ten list because of their in-season success with an aging roster. Dallas began the season with a group that consisted of 37-year-old Vince Carter and 35-year-old Nowitzki and Shawn Marion.
Before the start of the season, the Mavs added several players, including Monta Ellis, Jose Calderon, DeJuan Blair, and Devin Harris. Ellis would be the main attraction, as he got off to a fast start, averaging 19 points per game for the season.
Dallas finished the season as the eighth-best in the West, as they remained one game behind the Grizzlies for seventh and two games behind the Golden State Warriors.
I consider the 2014 season a success because of their near upset in the playoffs. In the playoffs, Dallas matched up against the Spurs. The Mavs lost game 1, but bounced back in game 2. In game 3, Carter hit a buzzer-beating three to give Dallas a 2-1 lead. The Mavericks had a chance to go up 3-1 in game 4, but Blair was ejected in the final three minutes, while Ellis missed a potential tying layup.
In game 5, Blair's absence was felt, as the Mavs failed to match the Spurs' firepower. The team would win game six before losing a critical game 7.
What if Blair never got suspended or if Ellis made that tying layup? Either way, this team showed grit, pushing the reigning champs to seven games.