The Dallas Mavericks can score with the best of them but are they worthy of a NBA Futures Pick? With such an old roster of players is picking against Dallas the way to go?
The Dallas Mavericks (46-30, 104.5 PF-101.4 PA) and Head Coach Rick Carlisle have a deep and experienced roster, and on paper look like the type of team that could really surprise this postseason, but somehow the acquisition of PG Rajon Rondo hasn’t been as magical as expected down in Big D, and in such a rugged conference this season, the Mavericks (28/1 NBA odds to Win NBA Championship, bet365) will probably even have trouble getting out of the opening round. Dallas is currently the No. 7-seed in the Western Conference, and if the NBA Playoffs (Start Saturday, April 18) began today, team legend PF Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks would face the No. 2-seeded Memphis Grizzlies—a team which Dallas went 1-3 SU (1-3 ATS) against this Regular Season losing both games at Home at the American Airlines Center—not to be confused with the American Airlines Arena in Miami where the Eastern Conference’s Miami Heat call home. On Thursday night, the Mavericks lost on the Road to their Lone Star State rivals, the Houston Rockets, 108-101, and now Dallas has just 6 games left and looks to be the next team to lock up a postseason spot in the conference. Next up is a weekend date with the Western Conference-leading Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry on Saturday night at Home in Dallas (NBA League Pass—Team 5, 8:30 p.m./5:30 p.m. PT).
Dallas Mavericks Possible Starting Five
C—Tyson Chandler (10.0 ppg, 11.4 rpg, 1.2 bpg)
PF—Dirk Nowitzki (17.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg)
SF—Chandler Parsons (15.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg)
SG—Monta Ellis (19.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg)
PG—Rajon Rondo (9.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 6.5 apg)
Dallas Mavericks Bench, Roster Depth
C—Bernard James (2.5 ppg)
PF—Amar’e Stoudemire (10.2 ppg)
SF—Al-Farouq Aminu (5.4.ppg, 4.3 apg)
SG—Devin Harris (8.8 ppg)
PG—JJ Barea (7.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg)
PF—Charlie Villanueva (6.0 ppg)
PF—Dwight Powell (3.5 ppg)
SF—Richard Jefferson (5.4 ppg)
PG—Raymond Felton (2.5 ppg)
Injuries, Coaching, Intangibles (Potential Playoff Paths)
Keep in mind when forming your NBA pick for Dallas that the Mavericks are relatively healthy heading down the stretch here, but there’s No Cure For Old, and this team has an amazing nine players who are 30 years or older currently on its Roster—including the oldest, 36-year-old Nowitzki—and two others who are 29 years old. Experience is great to a point, but when the majority of your roster is going to bed early and icing their knees and actually thinking about Retirement in the not-too-distant-future, then you’re probably not the type of team which could make a solid run over four potentially grueling series through this particular NBA field. Anyway, backup PG JJ Barea was nursing an injury, but he’s back now and starting SF Chandler Parsons (right knee) has his issues and is listed as Day-to-Day, but this team is fine compared to most of the other 15 NBA teams that may make or are already in the Playoffs. But Dallas is really Old.
Coach Rick Carlisle is pretty old (55) too, in some context, but the former Boston Celtics player possesses a considerable amount of NBA Playoff coaching experience. Continuing on the Potential Playoff Path(s) and the theoretical discussed above where the Mavericks would be facing the Grizzlies, should Dallas win that Round 1 series, it would then face the winner of the No. 3-No. 6 series between (at this Point in Time), the Houston Rockets or the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs in an all-Texas Western Conference Semifinal. And if the Mavericks somehow could get by either of those two teams—which they were 1-3 and 2-2 SU against respectively—then maybe the No. 1-seeded Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers or Oklahoma City Thunder would await in the Western Conference Finals. Certainly, A Path, no bueno. But you never know as this team is loaded with guys who may want that one last shot at a ring and my give it all this go-around.
With the addition of Rondo, the Mavericks expected everything to come together, but despite the wonderful and productive Starting 5, it really hasn’t clicked the way this team had hoped. With a potential Grizzlies-Spurs-Warriors path just to get to the NBA Finals (June 6), this probably isn’t going to be the year that the Mavericks win an NBA crown, although this team’s roster is as deep and healthy as one would want for this point in the season and Dallas can light it up offensively (#3 in NBA, 104.5 ppg). But this team just doesn’t play enough defense (#22 in Points allowed, 101.3 ppg), and when you’re as Old as the Mavs are, having the energy to expend on defense offense isn’t there—so you try to outscore your opponents. Makes sense, but with the potential for 7-game series’ in the NBA Playoffs and everyone banging the heck out of each other in each round, it’s hard to imagine the Dallas Mavericks (14/1 to Win Western Conference, Bet365) not being totally beat up for a theoretical Round 2 should they get by The Griz in Round 1. Guys like Ellis, reserves Stoudemire and Harris could be the key to this team’s success, but it will more likely be about Nowitzki, Chandler, Parsons and Rondo and how they end up playing and jelling together when the heat gets turned up next month and teams start getting eliminated from the postseason.
PREDICTED PLAYOFF DESTINY: Mavericks Eliminated in First Round by Grizzlies
RELATED PLAYOFF PICKS: Bet Overs in Mavericks Round 1 Road Games 1 and 2