A Little History:
The Dallas Mavericks entered the National Basketball Association in 1980. In their first season they only won 15 games, but within four seasons they had qualified for the playoffs. In 1984 the Mavs recorded their 42nd win of the season, and advanced to the playoffs to defeat the Seattle Supersonics in five games to win their first franchise playoff series.
In 1987, the Mavericks reached the 50 game plateau for the first time in franchise history with a win over the Golden State Warriors. But it was not until the next year until the Mavs reached another pinnacle: the Western Conference Finals.
The Mavs failed to reach significant success until 2003, a 60 win regular season, followed by the second trip to the Western Conference Finals in franchise history. Led by players such as German stud Dirk Nowitzki, Josh Howard, and Jerry Stackhouse, the Mavs would soon make the NBA Finals in 2006 only to lose to Dwanye Wade, Shaquille O’Neal and the Miami Heat.
A perennial playoff team, Dallas looks to push for a title before the clock stops ticking on their success.
2008-2009 Record: 50-32, 3rd in Southwest Division, 6th in Western Conference
Coach: Rick Carlisle
PG: Jason Kidd.
Jason Kidd still has gas left in the tank. How much gas remains to be seen as he enters his 18th season in the league. Highly sought as a free agent, Kidd is well respected by GM’s all around the Association. In the 2008–2009 season, Kidd became just the fourth player in NBA history to reach the 10,000 assist milestone and is now the only player in NBA history with 15,000 points, 10,000 assists and 7,000 rebounds. On April 5, 2009 Kidd passed Magic Johnson at third on the all-time assist list in a convincing 140–116 victory over the Phoenix Suns. Kidd scored 19 points with 6–8 shooting and a season high 20 assists giving him a total of 10142 career assists.
SG: Jason Terry
Jason Terry is a sneaky man. He seems to score exactly when needed and makes crucial plays. One of the fastest players in the league with a deadly 3 point shot, Terry is a dangerous weapon. The reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year award winner is an essential part of Dallas’s identity as a team. Expect at least the kind of numbers Terry was contributing in 2009 in 2010.
SF: Josh Howard
“I think he’s a hell of a player. I like his game a lot. He provides for his team what they ask him to do. He comes in and does it extremely well. He’s consistent, too. I think he’s a hell of a player” – Kobe Bryant
PF: Mark Cuban
Mark Cuban is the heart and soul of the Mavericks, born in Germany, Cuban was taught not to be a brute force but rather a finesse player for his more than unusual height. Selected behind Robert Traylor in the 1999 NBA Draft Cuban has always played with a chip on his shoulder. Cuban came into the 2009 NBA playoffs averaging more than 20 points per game quietly, and looks to win a title as the face of the franchise.
C: Eric Dampier
C: Erick Dampier
A longtime force in the paint, Dampier looks at a crossroads. With the Mavs in a win-now mentality and the addition of Drew Gooden. Dampier may see a decrease in production. The Mavericks are a team with tremendous frontcourt depth and may only rely on Dampier for rebounds and blocks.
I believe Marion is a guy who fits well into certain systems. Perhaps the pairing of Marion and Jason Kidd will echo the success Marion had with Steve Nash in Phoenix. Regardless, Dallas got a quality veteran who can score, can’t complain about that even if his defense is a little sketchy, but hey if you score more points than the other team you win right?
I see Gooden having reasonable success in Dallas. Likely played at the 5 position, Gooden will collect easy buckets, easy rebounds and will hopefully more than make up for the loss of Brandon Bass. Gooden’s ceiling of success is limited but could lead to a large payday if Dallas succeeds.
Brandon Bass – a young forward lost in the mix to Orlando
“I just want to make this team better. I want to be better and want to make my teammates better and that’s what it boils down to. I always have something to…” – Shawn Marion
**Update: Please note that all mentions of “Mark Cuban” should be replaced by “Dirk Nowitzki”**
Expect the Mavs to put up a fight in the West this year. I expect the third seed to be occupied by Dallas due to the superior depth embodied by their frontcourt. Possibly a run to the Western Conference Finals.