This can be discussed even during a lockout. Dirk and the Mavs are still riding high from their hard earned 2011 NBA title. They swept Kobe’s Lakers, beat Durant/Westbrook Thunder, and then took out the Miami Heat. The team is battle tested especially with the grand fail against the Golden State Warriors in the 2007 playoffs. The Mavs lost a lot with a solid roster in the past. They overcame all of that in 2011.What’s next? Repeat. Duh.
Remember the days where Shaq and Kobe were winning titles together? Every other team made adjustments, but that did not matter. The Lakers beat them anyway no matter what they did until the Lakers ate themselves alive within. Remember when Jordan and Pippen ruled the 1990s? All teams made improvements, but that did not matter either. As long as MJ and Pip were together, no one can beat them.
The same can be applied to Dirk’s Mavs. Why the same can be applied just like the teams mentioned above? They all have two things in common – Two stars and pain.
MJ and Scottie were thrashed by the Bad Boys before dominating. Shaq endured losing in the Finals against Hakeem’s Rockets and beatings by MJ and Scottie. Then he had to live through the Rodman debacle when he joined the Lakers and the Utah Jazz before winning with Kobe. Kobe had to get away from the Jordan comparisons, choking as a rookie against Utah, and the Showboat days before winning with Shaq. Then he had to endure the Colorado rape case.
Dirk experienced the 2006 NBA Final choke job against Dwyane Wade’s Heat. The team went through another traumatic experience against the Golden State Warriors when Dirk won the league MVP that season. After that, it was playoff elimination after another. Jason Kidd lost two Finals against the Lakers. Shawn Marion went through a lot of losing in Phoenix, Miami, and Dallas. They went through the pressure, losing, and heartbreaks.
Their chances to repeat as champs are very high. By now, they know how to win. They went through too much losing NOT to repeat. The current lockout actually helps the team. Jason Kidd is getting more rest. Dirk Nowitzki is in his prime. Jason Terry is in his prime. Tyson Chandler is in his prime. Shawn Marion can still ball at a high level getting more rest.
The squad won the title by beating the best that the West and East have to offer. Think about it – they won without Caron Butler and still beat Wade, LeBron, and Bosh. Dallas will get a healthy Caron Butler back. They also added Rudy Fernandez. The team got better without even trying. If they land a major injury to any of the core guys (Dirk, Kidd, Terry, Chandler) then there is no chance to repeat.
This is an excellent time if you’re a Mavs fan. Word to current ring chasers – head to Dallas. They’re a balanced group: offense rating is 109.7 (8th of 30), defense rating is 105.0 (8th of 30), points per game is 100.2 (11th out of 30), and points allowed is 96.0 (10th out of 30). They got their bases covered.
Look at the field – Kobe’s Lakers is a minor blip to these guys. Mavs swept them convincingly last year; not a threat. Tim Duncan’s Spurs is finished. Phoenix is not a threat at all. Utah still has many things to figure out before becoming a playoff team again. Houston? Nope. Golden State? Nope. Clippers? Nope.
There are only two legit threats in the West – Oklahoma Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies.
Unfortunately there is no threat in the East. It was Miami, but they were exposed.
We’ll see, but the facts in front of us remain. The Dallas Mavericks has the highest possibility to win the title again among everyone else. History shows that a team doesn’t go through all that pain just for only one title. I think they will repeat.