2008-2009 Dallas Mavericks Season Preview
2008 Dallas Mavericks preview from the Maddux Sports experts. Maddux Sports the premier professional handicappers also offers winning NBA Picks daily to our visitors.
The Dallas Mavericks (51- 31) earned 50-plus victories as usual and made it into the playoffs. That’s par for the course as far as this team is concerned. But there was trouble in the ranks as players had issues with the controlling nature of coach Avery Johnson.
The Mavericks were fairly balanced on offense and defense, earning 7th–place in offensive efficiency and 8th in defensive efficiency. The Jason Kidd trade, in which they gave-up two first round picks, was less effective than had been hoped. The Mavs were 35- 17 before the trade and 16- 14 after it. They played a smooth two-point and foul shooting game while posting the fifth-lowest turnover rate in the league. They were tops from the free throw line. Under the controlling eye of Johnson, Dallas played a slow half-court game that featured some sound “D.” When they got to the playoffs, their defense fell apart and New Orleans beat them easily.
With the season over, Dallas got rid of three-year coach Johnson and brought in Rick Carlisle. Carlisle likes discipline on a team but is much more easy-going and more of a player’s coach than Johnson. With their first-round pick given up in the Kidd trade, the Mavs chose Shan Foster. Foster will spend a year in Europe, getting some experience. Former first-round pick, guard Gerald Green, was signed and swingman James Singleton and guard Keith McLeod were brought back from Spain and Italy, where each played last season. Green, who can slash to the basket and dunk, enters his fourth NBA season.
Forward Dirk Nowitzki has been in the NBA for a decade. He is the driving force on this team. He’s been criticized for being soft, especially in the playoffs but the fact is he’s one of the premiere frontcourt men in the league. Last season, he led the team in scoring with 23.6 PPG. He hit 88% of his frees, 48% from the field and 36% from downtown. With Nowitzki, coach Carlisle wants to make things simpler for him. Swingman Josh Howard should help in this area. He’s an able point scorer (19.9 PPG) and rebounder (7.0 RPG). The center spot goes to either 12-year vet Eric Dampier or seven-year man DeSagana Diop. Both offer good defensive chops.
The backcourt features point man Jason Kidd and his 10.1 APG and 10.8 PPG. He is a fine playmaker and a good defender. Kidd, who is 35, makes everyone on the court better. The question is how much longer can he play in the NBA? Guard Jason Terry is a decent shooter but cannot defend. Jerry Stackhouse will put up and connect on his share of shots.
This Dallas team may have passed its prime a few years ago. Fourth-place in the Southwest Division and a sixth-place in the Western Conference should be where this club ends up. In the playoffs, the Mavs could be out by round two or possibly make it to the finals. Age is a factor with both the top starters and best bench players. The NBA regular-season is a tough one for even a young athlete to weather.