NBA Roundtable

2012 Team Preview: Dallas Mavericks

In Season Previews on October 22, 2012 at 10:31 am

Dallas Mavericks


  • PG – Darren Collison
  • SG – Delonte West
  • SF – Shawn Marion
  • PF – Dirk Nowitzki
  • C  – Chris Kaman

A decent starting lineup. An elite player in Dirk Nowitzki, an above average starter in Marion but the rest of the pack are are firmly below average.

Dirk Nowitzki is still one of the ten best players in the league. A remarkable offensive threat. At 7 feet tall and a jump-shot to rival the best shooting guards in the league plus possessing a post-game that can out-smart (sometimes out-muscle) smaller forwards, Dirk Nowitzki is one of the most difficult matchups in the league. A good passer too.

Very efficient offensively. Shoots brilliantly from midrange, long two point range and from three point territory. Scores around the rim and gets to the FT line. Excellent off the elbows and in the mid-post. Can score from any area on the floor. At the basket, on either block, baseline areas and elbows and top of the key from any range.

As a defender, Dirk lacks quickness which can cause some problems for him in man-to-man situations and increasingly in team defense situations. Limited rebounder. No longer can explode to the ball / rebound outside his area.

Shawn Marion is the second best player in Dallas’ starting lineup which says how little top tier talent Dallas truly has these days. And that is the main reason why they won’t be a title contender. Back to Marion, Shawn Marion is a very strong defender/rebounder with great versatility defensively capable of defending 1-through-4 at a very good level. High level possession creator. Solid offensive player who can shoot threes from the corners, has a bunch of awkward but effective looking floaters on drives and possesses a post game. A functional ball-handler/passer.

Darren Collison is one of the Mavs big off-season additions. Similar type of player as JJ Barea but a more talented version. An undersized speedy PG who is dangerous in the pick and roll. Can get into the paint and is a very effective jump-shooter. More of a scorer than passer but a capable playmaker. A dodgy defender/rebounder.

I think Collison is due for a big season. I think Dirk Nowitzki will help Collison tremendously with the threat of his shooting ability in the pick and roll/pop. Creating lots of extra space for Collison to exploit. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Collison average 16-17ppg and 7-8apg.

The center position will be held by Chris Kaman. Kaman has struggled for the past few years. One of the weaker defenders amongst the starting centers in the league. His effort level and focus defensively has been very low for about five years now. His rebounding has dipped since he started looking to score more often also. Offensively, Kaman has good size at 7-0 250lbs but also has short arms and lacks reach. That hurts his ability to finish off his post-moves as defenders are often able to contest his shots effectively. Has a midrange jump-shot but can fall in love with it at times. Inefficient scorer due to a low FG% and few FTAs.  The more he allows others to create shots for him, the more efficient/effective Chris Kaman will be as a scorer. Better as a 12-14ppg guy than a 16-18ppg guy.

The one starting position that is up for grabs is the starting two spot. OJ Mayo has held it so far in pre-season but he is far too weak a defender/rebounder to keep the spot through the season. Given time, Rick Carlisle will come to the same conclusion and will give him Jason Terry’s old job as a super-sub-scorer off the bench. The other options include Vince Carter (makes them very old and slow at the SG, SF, PF and C positions) or any one of Dahntay Jones – Jared Cunningham – Dominique Jones who all lack range on their jumpshots which is a problem next to Shawn Marion.

So, I am thinking that Delonte West makes the most sense in the short-term with one of the younger more athletic defensively capable two guards being groomed (probably Cunningham) for the role long term. Unknown whether they can make that transition this year or whether it’ll be in a future season … but Delonte West will make a fine stop-gap starter for the time being.

Delonte West is a good defensive player and solid rebounder. His lack of height can get him into problems against shooting guards with good size that possess a power game. However; his quickness, toughness and smarts defensively allow him to be very effective on most other types of two guards. One ones who are dribble penetration orientated or rely on off-the-ball screens to create their shot-attempts. Offensively, Delonte West is a very effective role player. A very good secondary ball-handler and passer. An excellent jump-shooter. A tough player who’ll drive hard and take it to the basket. Good pick and roll player. Gives Dallas another creator as a 4th-5th option.


  • PG – Roddy Beaubois
  • SG – OJ Mayo, Jared Cunningham, Dahntay Jones, Dominique Jones
  • SF – Vince Carter, Jae Crowder
  • PF – Brandan Wright
  • C  – Elton Brand

A middle of the pack bench. A high level primary backup big man in Elton Brand. A very good backup two guard. An iffy backup PG. A poor backup PF. Limited big man depth behind those two. Solid backup SF. Very good depth behind their main backup wings.

Elton Brand is the main piece off the bench. A very good primary backup big man capable of playing both big man positions. A little slow for a PF and undersized for a center but his strength, length and smarts help him function capably defensively. His past two seasons defensively have been two of his strongest campaigns in recent years. Looks more mobile than in years before that (post-injury). A decent rebounder. Solid shot-blocker. Good hands defensively. Offensively, a very strong midrange two point jump-shooter and a solid shot-creator out of the low post albeit a bit more matchup-dependent as a post scorer than in years past.

OJ Mayo is a big name but he is yet to find his place in the league. Best suited as a scoring orientated PG (in a decentralized offense playmaking wise) or as a high scoring combo guard off the bench. It looks like Dallas is planning on using OJ Mayo similarly to how they used Jason Terry which should suit Mayo fairly well. I’d like to see a few more PG minutes defensively but even without that it should be a fairly good home for Mayo. A good shot-creator offensively with good ball-handling skills + is a very strong jump-shooter. Off the catch and off the dribble. Long range and midrange. Undersized for a shooting guard and is a limited defender/rebounder. A so-so passer.

Roddy Beaubois is a very active and talented defensive player. Good possession creator. Limited PG skills. Lacks decision making skills, leadership, and playmaking skills. Good ability to create separation from his defender and create shots for himself. Both jump-shots and getting to the rim. Shot the ball very well his rookie year but has inconsistent since. Big year for Roddy Beaubois.

Vince Carter choked again in the playoffs this year. A solid shot-creator for a role player due to his great size and shooting ability at the shooting guard spot. A mediocre defender/rebounder at SG and poor one at SF. Less potent a shot-creator at small forward but his shooting skills, ball-handling and passing ability helps spread out the offense and create room for others.

Brandan Wright is a below average defender/rebounder and very limited offensive player. Great finisher around the basket so he shoots a high percentage around the rim. Very good weak-side shot-blocker defensively and has very good mobility on team defense. Lightweight defender who struggles in man-to-man defensive sequences.

Jared Cunningham is an elite athlete with defensive skills and some offensive talent. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him become a quality rotation player for the Mavs this year in his rookie campaign. Dahntay Jones is a very good defensive guard. Limited offensively. Lacks range on his jumper. More of a slasher. Very inconsistent (offensively). Jae Crowder is a tough minded forward who has a good nose for the ball, plays some defense and hits open shots offensively. Dominique Jones is a slasher + ball-handler/playmaker but needs to show more range on his jump-shot and more usefulness defensively.


Too mediocre defensively to be a title contender. Not a top ten team.

A quality playoff squad. Probable one and done team.

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