(Personally, I miss the lockout shortened 66-game schedule. It was hard on the players, and playing double headers maybe was not the best idea, but it was fun.)
The Mavs’ grand plan to add Deron Williams flopped in the summer, and instead the team will now look almost nothing like it planned even a few weeks ago as Dirk Nowitzki is out for a while recovering from knee surgery.
With Rick Carlisle as its coach, the Mavs will be competitive as they will defend and try to rebound. That will keep them in games, and I expect them in the playoffs in a Western Conference that isn’t too stacked.
One of the many problems this team will face, even when Dirk
returns, is who will score?
Not Elton Brand. Too much mileage.
Chris Kaman, when healthy, has a nice post game and will score more than the Mavericks have ever had at that spot. But he's not a money scorer.
Darren Collison … maybe, eventually.
Assuming Dirk returns healthy and can still score at a high rate, the rest will come down to whether O.J. Mayo can be a solid scorer on a good team. Can he create his own shot when there is none?
His scoring average topped out at 18.5 points per game when
he was a rookie in Memphis on a team that finished 24-58. A good scorer on a
bad team doesn’t mean much.
As the Grizzlies improved, his production consistently dropped. Here are his numbers in the first four years in the league.
’08-’09: 18.5 ppg, 3.2 apg.; Grizzlies finished 24-58 no
’09-’10: 17.5 ppg., 3.0 apg. Grizzlies finished 40-42 no playoffs
’10-’11: 11.3 ppg., 2.0 apg. Grizzlies finished 46-36 West semis
’11-12: 12.6 ppg., 2.6 apg. Grizzlies finished 41-25 West quarters
Notice the correlation? There is a reason the Grizzlies had reportedly shopped him for years. There is also a reason he was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft. The ability is there.
If the Mavericks can develop/unlock his ability to score and complement Dirk they should have a nice and maybe even a surprising season.
Facebook Mac Engel