It seems to be very trendy these days to doubt the Mavs chances at winning a title. Despite the fact that they're poised to make another strong run at a title with a deeper, more versatile squad than last year, many NBA writers and pundits (including our own two NBA writers Jan and Jeff) don't think they'll do it.
Only 14.8% of NBA general managers picked them to win it all. Not all GMs responded, but by looking at the numbers, it looks to be 4 out of 27 respondents (I wonder who the three lazy GMs are?) who think they will go all the way.
Out of 18 ESPN writers, two picked the Mavs to win it. Eight picked the Spurs, five picked the Suns, two picked the Rockets. My favorite pick was Chad Ford, the lone Pistons backer.
My point is that everyone seems to be avoiding Mavs championship talk like the plague. After all, many of these same people picked the Mavs to roll to a championship last year...something the obviously failed to do.
For better or worse, Sports Illustrated picked the Mavs to win it all. Bad-taste-in-the-mouth picks have always been dumb in my opinion. SI chose who they really thought it would be. It would have been easy to pick the Spurs. But they chose to go a different route and buck the trend. There is always a trendy pick to start the season. The Mavs were that trend last year, the Suns seem to be the non-Spurs "I Want-to-be-different Pick" this year. It was obvious this was coming. As the Mavs were busy getting embarassed out of the first round by the Warriors, many writers immediately slapped the "choker" and "soft" tags back onto the Mavs that they so desperately had wanted to shed for many years.
Because of that, they won't find many prognosticators bouncing the ball into the AAC this season and the Mavs will once again seek to push past the labels and doubters into the Finals as they did in 2006. Only this time they'll have to push a little harder.
-Scooter Hendon, Hoops Nerd