2010-2011 NBA Predictions: Dallas Mavericks: After a 55-27 regular season record in 2010 and loss in the first round in six games loss to the San Antonio Spurs, it seemed big changes were in store in “Big D” for the Dallas Mavericks. Yet, Dallas retained its core, signing power forward Dirk Nowitzki in free agency and retaining veterans PG Jason Kidd, SG Jason Terry, and small forward Caron Butler. Vegas has given the Mavs 12-1 odds of winning the West and 20-1 odds of finally winning a championship for owner Mark Cuban.
Nowitzki remains the scoring and rebounding force and, through four games in 2010, the long-time Mav is scoring 26.5 points per game and 9.8 rebounds per game. The other prime scoring options are Terry and Butler. Now in his 16th year and at age 37, Kidd is still a floor presence averaging 9.3 PPG, 11.8 assists per game, and 34 minutes per game. Veteran Shawn Marion is the sixth man and, at center, Brendan Haywood and Tyson Chandler split time at center. The centers, for Dallas, are primarily rebounders as neither guy can really score.
Dallas is a veteran team, with 10 players over age 28, and the team is counting on thirty-somethings Kidd, Nowitzki, and Marion for strong production. The resigning of Nowitzki means the Mavs are still serious about contending in the Western Conference yet they will be in trouble if someone like Kidd gets injured. Dallas has been one of the top teams in the west for many years but they will be challenged to maintain their standing and could be challenged to live-up to their Vegas “futures” odds.
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