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Houston Rockets: A Final Look at the Southwest Division Opponents

By Connor Paden
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Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks – Pre-Season Record: 4-4

The Dallas Mavericks are another interesting team this season. While I’m not expecting a playoff appearance for this season, many NBA analysts and experts are. I can’t say they are without a case, as the Mavs definitely have some tools to play with this year, unlike the past two seasons. Rick Carlisle is one of only four active coaches with an NBA Championship and knows what it takes to win. For the first time in a few years, Carlisle’s team does not start and end with Dirk Nowitski. Dirk is not ready to roll over and call it quits and could have a very effective season in store for him now that he has some extra help. No Monta Ellis isn’t the ideal guard in the NBA; he’s kind of a less effective version of Allen Iverson if you will, but the guy can score and will score.

Veterans like Vince Carter and Shawn Marion may have a little bit of gas left in the tank to introduce some more creativity to the offense. The point guard position will be most interesting to watch on this team. It looks like Jose Calderon will be the starter at the beginning of the season while Devin Harris and rookie Shane Larkin get healthy. Once they return the, Mavericks have a formidable roster.

Although this team has acquired some offensive players, they still look pretty liable on defense and the center position. Samuel Dalembert, who will start the season at center, is a solid defensive presence, but really a downgrade from Chris Kaman. DeJuan Blair and Brandan Wright will fill in when healthy but teams with dominant big men will roll right over the Mavericks. While some are predicting a possible 8th seed appearance for Dallas, I don’t expect to see the Mavs in the playoffs this year.

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