One way to win an NBA championship is by recreating past success. Over a decade ago, the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals and became champs. Now in 2022, the Mavericks have slowly progressed their way into becoming a championship-caliber team. From back-to-back first-round exits to reaching the Western Conference Finals this past season, the city of Dallas is starting to feel like they can root for a powerhouse again.
Throughout the years, the Mavericks have tended to have one superstar player surrounded by great role players. In 2011, it was the star himself, Dirk Nowitzki averaging 23 points, and 7.0 rebounds per game.
Not only was Nowitzki playing some of his best basketball, but he was also surrounded by players like Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, Tyson Chandler, and Jason Terry. Head coach Rick Carlisle made sure to have shooters on the court as well like DeShawn Stevenson and Peja Stojaković.
How does Mavericks roster compare to 2011 team? Can Dallas make it more like 2011?
Fast forward to this upcoming season and one may realize there are many similarities between the 2011 Dallas Mavericks roster and the current. Luka Doncic put up 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 8.7 assists this past season while having his own role players including Jalen Brunson, Spencer Dinwiddie, Maxi Kleber, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Reggie Bullock. This team gave me some sense that former Maverick and current coach, Jason Kidd may be looking to do a rebuild of 2011.
When you look at the similarities from then to now, the main stand-out is that Nowitzki and Doncic both had the offense run through them. Nico Harrison and the front office made sure to get shooters like Reggie Bullock and Davis Bertans who had many resemblances to Stevenson and Stojaković. Many can say that Finney-Smith and Marion had an indistinguishable role of being the key defensive player, while Brunson and Dinwiddie had a few correlations to guys like Terry and Kidd.
When you look at the key reasons as to why the Mavs lost to the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs this year, it was due to poor shooting and losing the rebound battle by a wide margin. Luckily, the Mavericks found the missing piece just over a week ago, by trading for Christian Wood. He may not be the same player as former Maverick, Tyson Chandler, but with his rebounding skills and a solid shot from behind the 3-point line, this may be the last piece to the puzzle.
As the Dallas Mavericks continue to go deeper into the offseason, it will be interesting to see if this theory of a 2011 rebuild will work. There has already been one move made by the team, and fans should expect more.