The champs are here! The champs are here! What we thought of the champs at least. This year’s version of the Dallas Mavericks sure stumbled out of the blocks. Can they recover? Possibly. But will they is the question.
The Mavs were always an offensive team before C Tyson Chandler arrived. Chandler, combined with G DeShawn Stevenson, gave the Mavs a defensive presence and made them a tougher team on both ends of the court. The Mavs took the momentum of these guys along with their explosive offense, and rode it to a championship. Fast forward to this year and this team is sorely missing these two guys. Sure, they added Lamar Odom, Delonte West and Vince Carter, but none of these guys are defenders that can bring the intensity on the defensive end that Chandler and Stevenson did. Another guy they miss is JJ Barea, who was their fearless PG who was a key cog in the championship year. He even chipped in with steals defensively. So, how do they get this resolved you may ask?
The Mavs have to revert back to the way they were in the past. The Mavs must push the tempo at people. West, Carter and Odom are at their best when they are in the open court. Another adjustment they will need to make will be to play Dirk and Odom more together. These two are matchup nightmares, so why not put pressure on opposing teams and make them have to give these two guys extra attention.
It’s early in the season so I don’t want to overreact to the Mavs and their struggles. But the fact remains that they have been down 30 twice already, given up 100+ points in all their games and they look lifeless and out of rhythm a lot early. Maybe they get it going, but if they don’t figure it out soon, the Mavs could be in for a long season.