The Dallas Mavericks recorded their tenth straight victory on Tuesday night with a 105-100 defeat of the Golden State Warriors. This veteran team has been in irresistible form in the early part of the season. The Mavs are currently in second place in the Western Conference with a record of 17-4.
The Mavericks are a relatively young franchise. They were founded by businessman Donald Carter in 1980 and quickly developed into a very good team in the highly competitive Western Conference. Led by Mark Aguirre, Derek Harper and Detlef Schrempf, the Mavericks made the playoffs six times from 1983-1990.
The 90's were not so kind to Dallas and the team failed to make the playoffs from 1991-2000.The reason for this sharp decline was mainly attributed to off court distractions. In 1995 Forward Roy Tarpley was expelled from the league after losing his fight with substance abuse. This scandal along with injuries to several key players made this a decade to forget for the Mavs.
In January 2000 a new era began in Dallas when entrepreneur Mark Cuban bought the team for $285. Cuban invested heavily and they returned to prominence. In 2006 the Mavericks made their first NBA finals appearance against the Miami Heat. They were heavily favoured to win the championship but lost the series 4-2.
The only remaining starter from the 2006 team is German born Dirk Nowitzki. This superstar center is one of the most explosive players in the game and has scored over 20,000 points in his career. Nowitzki is 32-years-old and is desperate to win an NBA championship before he retires.
There is enough talent in the current rotation to suggest that the Mavericks are legitimate title contenders.
Jason Kidd who is having a superb year. This veteran point guard is passing the ball with supreme confidence even at the ripe old age of 37. He has a good understanding with Dirk Nowitzki and is a huge asset. Another talented player is small forward Caron Butler. He joined the team from Washington in February and is averaging 14 points per game.
The Mavericks are currently priced at 20.0 to win the NBA Championship. I think that price is a little long as they have already beaten Miami and Boston in the Eastern Conference and show no signs of letting up.
Dallas has a pretty easy schedule coming up and it would be foolish to oppose them in the short term. On Thursday they start a five game home stand against New Jersey, Utah, Milwaukee, Portland and Phoenix. I think they are capable of winning at least four or perhaps all five games before they embark on a three game road trip.
The Dallas Mavericks are one of the most consistent teams in the NBA. They have made the playoffs every year for the past ten years but have yet to win a championship. If they continue to play at this level that elusive NBA title could be within their grasp.
By Nick Shiambouros
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