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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
  • Last Update:
    06/20/2020 1:56 PM

2013/14 NBA Team Preview: Dallas Mavericks

Season Review 2012/13:

Advanced Stats
Numbers
Rank
Pace
94.1
7
Offense
105.9
13
Defense
106.5
19
Rebound
47.9
27

4 Factors
Offense
Numbers
Rank
Defense
Numbers
Rank
eFG%
50.6
11
eFG%
49.2
11
TO%
13.0
6
TO%
13.3
20
Reb%
21.8
28
Reb%
26.9
22
FT%
19.2
24
FT%
22.7
28

Monthly Performance
Record
OffRtg
DefRtg
November
 7-9
105.6
108.8
December
 5-10
101.5
109.1
January
 7-8
111.8
107.9
February
 6-5
109.5
105.4
March
 11-5
112.3
110.1
April
 5-4
108.6
107.1


The Mavericks only secured a .500 record on the last day of the regular season, something that they have achieved on every season in the 21st century. Even though all the problems that Rick Carlisle had to manage, the Mavericks were involved in the fight for the last playoffs spot, but they weren’t good enough to grab that spot at the end.

Dallas’s biggest star Dirk Nowitzki missed 29 games of the regular season and when he returned, he was obviously rusty. Carlisle simply didn’t trust on the players that he had for the Point Guard and Center positions, the key positions for any team to succeed. Darren Collison and Chris Kaman were supposedly the team’s starters, but they struggled to get the trust of their coach due to their inability to defend like Carlisle demanded them to.

Dallas had a clear pattern throughout the season: they were crushing any lowly team (27-9 record versus teams below .500 record), but they just couldn’t beat the best teams in the league (14-32 record versus above .500 record teams). The Mavericks had the reputation that they were clutch over the last few seasons, but they just couldn’t win a close game last season with a 5-8 record on games decided by 3 points or less and a 3-8 record on overtime games.

Jason Terry was gone and Dirk Nowitzki was either injured or rusty, so these struggles for Dallas to be competitive against top teams were inevitable. The good news is that Dirk regained his form during the second half of the season with 50.5% FG, 43.3% 3pts and 91.3% FT! In a particular stretch, Dirk was a “monster” with 12-21 FG & 33 points, 10-20 FG and 21 points and 14-17 FG & 35 points against the Clippers, the Pacers and the Bulls!

Dallas was an awful rebounding team in both ends of the floor during the whole season. They couldn’t stop avoid sending the opponents to the free throw line, while they were the pure definition of a jump shooting team on offense, with just 25.5% of their shots being at the rim: by far the lowest mark in the whole league!


Offseason Report:

Mark Cuban has been one of the biggest losers over the last few off-season’s by not being able to sign a big player on free agency. He attempted to sign Deron Williams and Dwight Howard last season and failed, while he attempted Howard again during this offseason but failed again, even Andrew Bynum preferred Cleveland instead of Dallas.

With plenty of cap room available, Mark Cuban had a green card to build the team’s roster. The Point Guard position was a mess last season and Cuban chose to sign veteran PG Jose Calderon and make Devin Harris return to the team. O.J. Mayo didn’t convince Rick Carlisle last season and Cuban didn’t make any effort to re-sign him on the offseason. Cuban took advantage of Monta Ellis’s current bad reputation to sign him on a three-year deal. Wayne Ellington was also signed to give the team more athleticism on the perimeter.

For the frontcourt, Chris Kaman leaving was inevitable. Dallas is missing Tyson Chandler badly these days. Dirk Nowitzki can’t play at the Center position these days, so the Mavericks signed veteran Center Samuel Dalembert and former-Spurs player DeJuan Blair on a nice pickup.


Season Preview:

The Mavericks have been San Antonio’s biggest divisional rival since Dirk Nowitzki became a top player on the league. However, these days seem gone for Dallas.

The good news is that Dirk Nowitzki had a regular offseason without having to play overseas or being on rehab nursing an injury. He looks to be 100% healthy and looking at how well he played during the second half of the past season, I believe Dirk will be back at being an elite player that can solve games down the stretch in the same way that Lebron, Durant and Paul do it all the time. Only this detail will prevent Dallas from losing so many close games like they lost last season.

From the projected starting lineup, only Monta Ellis isn’t 30 years old or older, so we are in front of a veteran team like it has been happening on this organization for a while. Rick Carlisle is one of the best coaches in the league, but he couldn’t find the right rotations at the PG and Center positions last season. However, I believe this happened mostly due to lack of talent than from poor coaching.

For the new season, Jose Calderon will be a huge upgrade over Darren Collison. Of course that Calderon’s lack of speed will be a weakness on defense and so, Carlisle will need to find a way to compensate that. However, Calderon is a great floor leader who knows how to place the ball in conditions for his teammates to shoot the ball, while he very rarely takes bad decisions. This is why he has one of the best A/TO ratios in the league.

The player that will potentially benefit the most from this will be Monta Ellis. He is one of the players with a bad reputation for being a high-volume/inefficient scorer. Over the last two seasons, Ellis failed to reach the 45% FG mark, but he will be involved for the first time during this span on a system where he will fit quite well. Ellis had his prime at Golden State under Don Nelson, but his stay at Milwaukee wasn’t good at all, as playing alongside Brandon Jennings didn’t help him at all. Now at Dallas with Jose Calderon, Ellis will have an excellent opportunity to make a bounce back season. If that doesn’t happen, then Dallas won’t have a lot of chances to be competitive, as their depth on guards isn’t good at all. Devin Harris will be the team’s main backup at the guard positions, but he is injured at the moment and he will miss the start of the season, while Wayne Ellington seems to be a player who can be useful to the team when he has a lot of playing time, as this was how he impressed at Memphis.

Both Shawn Marion and Vince Carter are past their prime, but they can still give the team some quality minutes. Marion’s versatility on defense will still be a positive factor for Carlisle’s defensive scheme, while Carter is coming from an excellent underrated season with 44% FG, 41% 3pts and 81% FT as a bench player. It won’t be because of the SF position that Dallas won’t be competitive this season.

The frontcourt might be the team’s weakest link this season. Tyson Chandler left a huge hole on the team when he left for the Knicks and Dallas is still yet to find a proper center to replace him. Samuel Dalembert will be the team’s starting center, but he hasn’t played 30 minutes per game or more since the 2007-08 season! Brandan Wright will be a serviceable backup, but he suffered a small fracture on his left shoulder and he is out indefinitely. On the other hand, DeJuan Blair will be Dirk Nowitzki’s backup, so we can’t expect some great individual defense at the PF position for Dallas this season.

With the quality of the coaching and the team’s starting lineup, I believe that Dallas will once again fight for the last playoffs spots on the Western conference. With so many veterans on the team, health will be a key factor, especially because the Mavericks don’t have a great depth unlike their championship roster. Dirk Nowitzki will give them some great basketball down the stretch, but the West is loaded with great teams and Dallas lacks the same explosiveness as these elite teams. 

My name is André Gomes, I’m from Portugal and I am a Professional Handicapper. My sole purpose is to constantly beat the sportsbooks by taking advantage of the evaluation errors they make. It is most... Read more

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