The Dallas Mavericks made a last minute push to finish the 2012-13 season with a record of 41-41, but they missed the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons. Now, Dallas fans couldn’t have been too disappointed. I mean, Dirk Nowitzki missed 23 games with a knee injury and the team just never seemed to be able to create any type of chemistry once he returned. It didn’t seem like the Maverick front office hit the panic button either. They had their eyes set on signing a big name free agent. Well, we know how that turned out. Dallas missed out again on a big name free agent; they had pursued Chris Paul in the 2012 offseason and failed to sign Dwight Howard the summer of 2013. Fast forward to this year, and Dallas is a roster filled with nine new athletes that are a predominately veteran laden core. In my opinion, none of the Mavericks’ offseason additions help them get back to the playoffs.
Nowitzki is still an offensive threat, but the Mavericks’ lack of defense and interior scoring puts them at a huge disadvantage in the western conference. If, for some reason, the Mavericks are in the mix for a playoff spot come the end of the season, it will be the seventh or eighth playoff spot; they have too many weaknesses to make up for. I do believe, however, that the Mavericks will be more entertaining to watch this season. Nowitzki should be hitting one leg fade aways regularly. Monta Ellis is known for taking some wild looking shots that will excite the crowd, and Vince Carter is good for a high-flying dunk every now and then.
Ultimately, it boils down to Dallas having a new roster for the second straight year, too many veterans, and one of the league’s worst defenses. If the Mavericks make the playoffs as a six seed or higher, Rick Carlisle should be Coach of the Year. I hope for Maverick fans’ sake I am wrong, but Dallas has their work cut out for them.