FanPost

NBA: Playoffs

G-spt-110525-dirk-nowitzki-854p_medium

via www.nbcsports.com

14. Dallas Mavericks (No. 7 or 8 seed, Western Conference)

Why they're dangerous: I love the Mavericks' franchise. I really do. I think Mark Cuban is the best owner in sports, Dirk Nowitzki is one of the top three players of his generation and their veterans have done a great job. Rick Carlisle is probably the second best coach in the league, honestly. So please understand that their ranking here is not reflective of bias or that I discount what they accomplished.

They can score with anyone. If they wind up in an offensive-centric series, they're going to make it tough on the other team. Nowitzki is the biggest X-Factor you can have. He and Steph Curry are the two guys who can tilt a series with offense alone. If he goes into 2011 mode, they can simply will their way over anyone.

Weaknesses: This team cannot defend. Against other Western Conference opponents, they give up 110 points per 100 possssions. That's a blood fountain of a wound. Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis on the perimeter is a lot of the problem, and with Dirk not a great interior help defender, it gets tougher. Samuel Dalembert struggles to rotate, and Brandan Wrightstill is uneven in decision-making. They're going to create some tight games with their offense, but you need defense to win in the playoffs, as cliche as that is.

Reasonable ceiling: Nowitzki goes 2011 and the Mavericks' high-powered offense goes Golden State 2007 (ironically) as the Mavericks upset the Thunder before losing to the Clippers in a tough seven games.

Reasonable floor: Oklahoma City or San Antonio wallop them because they can't stop anyone and they lose in a five game shootout series.

Hpbasketball

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Lone Star Ball

You must be a member of Lone Star Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lone Star Ball. You should read them.

Join Lone Star Ball

You must be a member of Lone Star Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lone Star Ball. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker