For the Dallas Mavericks, the preseason couldn’t end fast enough. Not because it was a terrible preseason, but because the regular season needed to start for this team. It’s been a long summer for an organization not used to long summers. The Mavericks are used to being in the playoffs, and for the first time in a long time, they had to watch the playoffs from home.
After an offseason full of changes, the Mavericks are ready to prove they belong among the best in the West. Dallas added nine new faces including Monta Ellis, Sam Dalembert and Jose Calderon. These three starters hope to elevate Dallas back into the conversation of NBA contenders. Dalembert will be looked at to anchor the defense for Dallas, while Calderon will be asked to play quarterback for a team that should be able to score points.
One thing they have starting this year that they missed last year is a healthy Dirk Nowitzki. Last season, Nowitzki missed the first 27 games due to a knee injury. Even after coming back, it still took another month or so for him to get back into game shape. Even with missing that many games, the Mavericks barely missed the playoffs and finished with a 41-41 mark.
This year, things look different for Dallas. With a healthy Nowitzki and so many new faces, head coach Rick Carlisle will have his work cut out for him as he tries to get this team back to the promised land. It should be a fun 82 game season to watch with all the different talent levels and players. One things for certain, it all starts Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks.