2015-16 NBA Previews – Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks did not have the best summer. When DeAndre Jordan verbally committed to the organization before free agency officially kicked off, but when the 7-footer backed out just hours before the league’s moratorium came to a close, it left this franchise with more questions than answers in its attempt to remain a contender in a brutally tough Western Conference.
Dallas Mavericks Season Preview
Head Coach: Rick Carlisle
2014 Record: 50-32
Mavs Odds to NBA Title: +6600
Mavs Odds to Win Conference: +3300
Experience and veteran leadership is going to be a strength for this group during the 2015-16 season. And that’s a good thing considering they’re going to be fighting with a few young organizations for the final playoff spot out West.
Entering the new season, the Mavs are the fourth-oldest team in the NBA. That might not sound like a good thing on the surface, but consider the teams ahead of them in that category: the Miami heat, L.A. Clippers and San Antonio Spurs.
Three-point shooting is also ideally going to be a strength for this group; although that admittedly depends on how healthy this group can stay throughout the year.
This group was seventh during the 2014-15 campaign in terms of shots made from behind the arc, and the addition of Wesley Matthews to an already-established perimeter-oriented roster should only enhance that number this year.
While this roster looks impressive on paper, you have to consider health a weakness at this point in the process.
Wesley Matthews is coming off arguably the worst injury in all of basketball — a ruptured Achilles. Chandler Parsons is coming off a season-ending knee injury. Devin Harris, while healthy for the majority of the 2014-15 season, has a history of injuries that doesn’t exactly give this team faith he can do it two years in a row.
There’s also Deron Williams, who once upon a time was considered a candidate for the “best point guard in the league” title, is now on the roster following a largely botched attempt to revitalize his career in Brooklyn.
And Dirk Nowitzki is going into his 18th season in the Association, which while ensuring this group has a true veteran leader also means they’ll have to monitor his minutes and health closely throughout the year.
Mavericks 2015 Betting Prediction:
Dallas isn’t going to be a bad team this season. The problem is that they’re in a conference that has absolutely no mercy, and they’re in the toughest division in basketball to make matters worse.
Chances are, this team is going to be fighting for a playoff spot late into the year, and will probably find itself in the fifth through eighth spot at this point in the season. All that said, expect this group to be on the outside looking in when it comes to the 2016 postseason.
Mavericks Key Personnel Losses:
- Monta Ellis, Tyson Chandler, Rajon Rondo, Amar’e Stoudemire, Al-Farouq Aminu
Looking at this list of losses is a bit intimidating. But it’s important to remember a few things.
For starters, Monta Ellis never jelled with the roster the way the organization thought it would. Tyson Chandler, while still incredibly effective on the defensive end, is 33 years old.
Rajon Rondo was a band-aid solution that proved to be completely ineffective and downright detrimental to the offense. Amar’e Stoudemire was a fun name to add to the roster, but he was well past his prime.
And while Al-Farouq Aminu is a solid three-point shot away from earning 3-and-D status, he wasn’t worth the money he commanded to this particular organization.
The biggest name that you don’t see on this list is DeAndre Jordan. Although he was never a true part of this organization, it was his backing out of a verbal agreement that had the biggest impact on this roster this summer.
Mavericks Top Newcomers:
- Wesley Matthews, Deron Williams, JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia, Jeremy Evans, John Jenkins, Justin Anderson
While Wesley Matthews is the top acquisition for this team, there are obvious concerns regarding his health and the money spent to get him. When Jordan backed out of his deal, the team boosted Matthews’ salary to max level, which is obviously concerning considering the particular injury he’s attempting to come back from.
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