New look Mavericks makes team contenders!

Posted: December 14, 2011 in Dallas Mavericks
Tags: , , , , ,



By Chris Bates

     The newest additions of Vince Carter, Lamar Odom and Delonte West in 72 hours to the 2011-12 Dallas Mavericks roster makes them a contender in the West once again.  Without these additions, I’m not sure if Dallas would have had enough to make the playoffs, let alone repeat and defend their NBA Championship. 

Cuban at it again

       The biggest addition is Lamar Odom, who not only brings a championship pedigree and leadership to the team but he is also one of the most versatile players in the league today.  Odom is the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, when he averaged 14.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.  The best part about the trade is the fact that the Mavericks virtually got Odom for nothing, just a trade exception and a first round pick.  News came out this week that Odom had requested a trade from L.A. after they included him in a potential trade that would have landed Chris Paul in Los Angeles had commissioner David Stern not vetoed the trade.  Odom said it wasn’t the fact that they were trading him it was the fact that they didn’t inform him or his agent about the trade.  Odom found out over Twitter that he was being traded.  Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle calls Odom the “most versatile forward in the league”.  Carlisle even hinted at the fact that Odom may be used as a “Point Forward” at points this season as he is one of the best passing big men in the league today.  Click Here  to view Odom’s comments about the trade and his expectations for this season.

Veteran Team

     The newest additon of Delonte West gives the Mavs a servicable, tough point guard to spell Jason Kidd when he needs rest.  West has been up and down in his NBA career, battling a variety of leg injuries but when healthy, he is a very good player.  West could spread the floor and has good range that opponents must respect on a nightly basis.  He will fit in nicely in Rick Carlisle’s system.  Vince Carter, who has averaged 22 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in his career is another scorer the Mavericks organization added.  Known to many as “Half-Man” for his acrobatic dunks, Carter is also an excellent spot-up shooter.  A career 40% 3 point shooter just adds another weapon to this team.  After the trade of Rudy Fernandez to Denver, Carter is in line to be the staring shooting guard when the season opens on Christmas Day. 

     The Mavericks can never have enough veteran players.  These players help you win a championship.  Yes, the anchor in the middle in Tyson Chandler is gone but the Mavs still have plenty of guys who can step in and replace Chandler and the other free agent departures.  Brendan Haywood is a servicable center in this league (Top 10 in the NBA in block per game the last 3 seasons).  I think one signing that has gone under the radar that can turn out to be huge for Dallas is the signing of Brandan Wright.  Wright is only 24 years old and was a lottery pick for the Golden State Warriors (#8 pick out of North Carolina in 2007).  Wright is another long, 6’10” player that the Mavs can play at the 3, 4, or 5.  The last 2 seasons, Wright has been riddled with injuries.  He suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in 2009 and spent all of last season playing not 100% with the shoulder injury.  He is fully healthy now and gives the Mavs another big man to put in when Coach Carlisle needs to go big versus teams like the Lakers.  While at North Carolina, Wright averaged 14.7 PPG, 6.2 RPG and 1.8 BPG.  He is the type of player that fits nicely in Carlisle’s scheme on defense.  With his ability to block shots, he gives the Mavs another dimension on the defensive end.  If Wright can stay healthy, he could make a run for Comeback Player of the Year.

Trade Rumors

       The potential trade rumors surrounding Dwight Howard have been put to rest right now by the Orlando Magic.  Earlier this afternoon, Magic officials told the Nets, Lakers, and Mavericks that Howard has been removed from the trading block.  Howard’s “wish-list” of teams he would sign long-term deals with include the Mavericks, along with the Nets, Lakers and Magic.  Any Maverick fan envisioning Howard in a Dallas uniform this year will have to wait for the time-being. 

Prediction on this Season

     The shortened NBA season I think benefits the older, more veteran teams in the league.  With a superstar in Dirk Nowitzki and tough-experienced players around him, the Mavs are well-suited for another title run.  I see the Mavs winning 60% of their games (which puts them in the 40 win mark), this is equivalent to 50+ wins in a regular NBA season.  11 straight 50+ win seasons will come to end for Dallas this year which just 66 games being played but I see the Mavs in the Top 3 teams in the Western Conference.  I think the Oklahoma City Thunder followed by the L.A. Lakers will be the 1 and 2 seeds with a rematch of last year’s conference finals between the Mavs and Thunder.  Although it will be hard to repeat as champions, the Mavs have the right players to do it but I just think they will come up a little short.  Still, the Mavs will exceed expectations this year. 

Prediction:  Mavs make it to Western Conference Finals but lose to eventual NBA champion Thunder in 6 games.

  1. Pablo says:

    the lakers dont have the roster or depth to contend at the one or two seed… I agree with the thunder pushing for top honors but I expect Dallas to be back in the finals

    • cbates5 says:

      Any team that has Kobe Bryant always has a chance but the loss of Odom will definitely hurt. Thanks for the comment and please subscribe so you can get more articles.

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