I’ve said many times to people that are interested that the Dallas Mavericks are a short-term threat in the NBA. What this essentially means is that they are a team that is built to win now but not in a year or two. They remind me of the Dallas Cowboys in all honesty. Both are filled with veterans on their last legs, look good on paper, but probably don’t have the wherewithal to win it all.
I rate Dirk Nowitzki, I really do. I think he’s a tremendous power-forward, the best-European big man shooter of all time maybe. I do think however that his chance at a title is dwindling.
I look at the Mavericks and this is what I see.
Caron Butler: 30 Years old
Jason Kidd: 37 Years old
Shawn Marion: 32 Years old
Dirk Nowitzki: 32 Years old
Jason Terry: 33 Years old
Brandon Haywood: 30 years old
A lot of their key players are all 30 years and older. Now this doesn’t mean they cannot win, but it does mean that they are less likely to be relevant for a longer period of time.
Don’t get me wrong I think Dallas is a threat this year (if they can gel which they did not do last year). But a lot of their key players are well into the back nine in their career. They do have some up and coming prospects that I like in Rodrigue Beaubois and Jose Berea, but are they really the answer to what’s next for Dallas?
Age isn’t everything of course, the Lakers have an average age of 28.7 on their roster and most would be willing to say they’re competing right now, but in 2 years time? I’m not so sure. The same goes for Dallas who are at 28.5 years. It doesn’t mean they can’t win basketball games, but what it does mean is their extended future beyond this season is questionable.
Sure there are teams out there that have average ages of 23 but are no where near contention, we’re just talking about teams that are relevant to the Western Conference championship.
If we look at the Thunder’s key players; Kevin Durant, Russel Westbrook and Jeff Green we see they have ages of 22, 22 and 24 respectively. Look at the Mavericks three key players; Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd and Jason Terry we see they have ages of 32, 37 and 33. Hopefully people understand my point that this is more a thing about looking at the key players for the extended future.
The reason I am going into all this detail about the Mavericks is because I thought it was time to gain some insight into our division. While the Mavericks are built for now, the Spurs are in the same boat, the Rockets are heading towards the rebuilding or retooling phase and the Grizzlies are looking up but are stuck with where they are. I have always thought the South-West was the toughest division in basketball because there is so much parity.
But I think it truly is one up for grabs right now and in the near future.
Looking at tomorrow’s game I think the Mavericks could be the first to snap our undefeated streak. They’ve beaten Denver, Memphis and Boston (!). They’re a well coached team and have a system that’s been in place since early last year.
With the way the Hornets have been playing I am expecting a win, but to say that a loss would be “surprising” would be preposterous. The Mavericks are a good ball club, no matter what their future holds.