This NBA offseason saw 3 all-stars from the Eastern Conference join the Western Conference. Paul George will pair with Westbrook in OKC, Jimmy Butler joins the young T-Wolves and Paul Millsap heads to Denver.
The Western Conference certainly got more star-studded, however these new “stars” pairing with each-other will encounter growing pains, especially early in the season. So with the Mavs only implementing 3 new players to the team in Dennis Smith Jr, Josh McRoberts ( acquired from Miami ) and Maxi Kleber, how will they stack up in the west?
Last season the Mavs got off to a 4-17 start, mostly due to injuries, lack of talent and continuity. If you compare last season’s opening night roster to the probable lineup the Mavs will roll out this season, you’ll feel a lot better as a Mavs fan. Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut will be replaced by Dennis Smith Jr and Nerlens Noel. The Mavs have a more talented, younger and more much athletic team this season. This will give the second best head coach in the NBA, Rick Carlisle a lot more to work with. The Mavericks have an opportunity to get off to a much better start this season, the only new starter they will most likely introduce will be is Dennis Smith Jr, the Mavs 9th pick. Rick said “I would project him as a starter at this point in time” at Smith’s introductory presser.
The Mavs won’t have to worry about getting new players used playing with each-other, Dennis Smith Jr will basically be the only new addition to the rotation. With minimal roster turnover this offseason, expect the Mavs to get off to a much better start this season. While most teams will have growing pains incorporating new players to their team, the Mavs will have an advantage because their roster has continuity and chemistry from last season. The Mavs showed what their capable of when healthy, especially post all-star break with the additions of Yogi Ferrell, Nerlens Noel and Seth Curry as a starter.
The Mavs saw Harrison Barnes and Seth Curry improved their games dramatically this season, these two and other young players are only going to keep on improving. Yogi Ferrell, Nerlens Noel, Dwight Powell and Dorian Finney-Smith all headed into this offseason’s training healthy and ready to improve. Add Dennis Smith Jr, who will be the front-running for ROY and the Mavs have a low-key dangerous team. The Mavericks will be contending for one the few playoff spots left in the West. With the new big name players in the Western Conference the Mavs go under the radar by many, and be one of the surprise teams of the NBA.