By Kareem Gantt on June 6, 2014
The Dallas Mavericks had a Cinderella season in which they made the playoffs after every NBA critic proclaimed them dead and took the Western Conference Champion San Antonio Spurs to the brink of elimination in their first-round match-up. So what can Dallas do for an encore? Let's find out.
Nowtizki showed the basketball world that he still has some gas left in the tank, and it was made possible by shifting the bulk of the offensive load away from him and onto the shoulders of Monta Ellis. Now that Nowtizki feels that Dallas is not far away from being contenders again, it will be up to the training staff to keep him in top shape going into next season.
Nowtizki was not the only senior Maverick to show that he had some gas left in the tank. Vince Carter also vindicated himself after a lackluster 2012-13 season to become one of the top sixth men in the NBA. But he is a free agent this offseason, and it would be wise for Dallas to keep the human highlight film around for a possible championship push next season.
A large part of the Mavericks' success last season was thanks to the play of their spare parts bench, which developed into one of the toughest second units in the league. If Dallas is to contend for a championship next season, then keeping as many of the players who made up the bench is a priority for Mark Cuban in the offseason.
Harris clearly outplayed Jose Calderon in the playoffs, and he would be a better fit with Monta Ellis than Calderon was. In reality, Harris and Calderon have the same game, but Harris is a better driver and defender which makes him a more important asset in the starting lineup.
Ellis' resurgence was the biggest reason for the Mavericks rebirth, and if he can stay on the right path and continue to play at an All-Star level, the Mavericks should be title contenders next season.
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