It’s never too early for NBA rankings right? Of course not! NBA on ESPN has been ranking all 32 teams in each conference and the Mavericks have landed at the No. 5 spot in the western conference.
Pretty high for a team that is constantly overlooked right? Here’s 5 reasons why:
1. Playoff surprise
Many Dallas fans might agree with me that the Mavs should have finished 7th in the West and face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round, but finishing 8th might have helped them.
Several analysts predicted that the Mavericks would get swept in the first round by the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs, but those who have watched more than one Mavs game know better.
The “shocking” seven-game series ended up being San Antonio’s toughest competition, and it opened some NBA fans eyes to the talent that bursts from the Mavericks roster.
2. Dirk chasing the greats
Although it didn’t get as much talk as LeBron shedding a few pounds, Dirk Nowitzki carved his name in NBA history as he cracked the top 10 in most points scored in an NBA career.
Dirk started the season with 25,051 points and passed the likes of Dominique Wilkins, Kevin Garnett, and Reggie Miller before he passed ‘The Big O,’ Oscar Robertson to take possession of the No. 10 spot on the all-time scoring list.
At the end of his career, Nowitzki can easily be as high as No. 7 on the all-time scoring list, because lets face it, Dirk’s jump shot is timeless and he’ll continue to knock them down.
3. Monta silencing his critics
Last summer when Dallas struck out with Dwight Howard they scrambled to find a solid piece. Enter Monta Ellis. Before this past season, Monta had been labeled a selfish player who can just shoot, but with his arrival in Dallas that all changed. Not only did Monta Ellis average the most points on the team, but he did so unselfishly. Monta averaged 5 assists, 3 rebounds, and shot 45 percent from the field.
His defensive prowess is what helped the Mavericks tremendously in the tough western conference. Ellis’ ability to be clutch in the fourth quarter also proved to be a vital asset to Dallas (cough.. cough.. game-winner at Portland).
The only thing missing from his career-revitalizing season with the Mavericks? That would the coveted All-Star nod, but if Monta continues to play like this we might just have multiple Mavs players in the All-Star game.
4. Welcome to Dallas, Chandler Parsons
Ah yes, the ultimate “gotcha” to the Houston Rockets. While the Rockets beat out Dallas in getting Dwight Howard last season, they thought they would be able to beat them again with resigning Chandler Parsons as well as getting either Chris Bosh or Carmelo Anthony. Well, the Rockets went 0-3 on that front, and lost rising star Parsons in the process.
Nothing was better than seeing Mavericks owner Mark Cuban with Chandler Parsons in a club signing an offer sheet. While the following days were agonizing for MFFL Nation to see if Houston would match, the wait was well worth it.
The addition of Parsons adds a third weapon that Dallas fans are already naming Run DMC, as in Dirk, Monta, and Chandler. This just might be one of the most exciting offenses the Mavericks have had, maybe ever.
5. In with the old, out with the new
After the breakup of the 2011 championship team, the biggest criticism surrounded the decision of letting Tyson Chandler walk, and Dallas has regretted it ever since.
In an odd, and hopefully rewarding, trade move, Dallas decided to trade newly acquired Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert and Shane Larkin to the New York Knicks for Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton.
The re-arrival of Tyson Chandler is a huge plus for a sub-par Dallas defense, and Raymond Felton could be more useful than people think. Although Tyson might have had a few bumpy seasons in New York, Dallas has been known to bring out the best in its players and revive careers.
Dallas is usually overlooked in the league, but with the season they had, as well as a huge offseason, it looks like the Mavericks are finally getting the respect they deserve.