Mavs get even more unconventional

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HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — After three years of mediocrity, the Dallas Mavericks could be one of the best teams in the NBA again. They’ll be one of the most unique teams, for sure.

Over the last two days, the Mavs signed Jameer Nelson and agreed to terms with Al-Farouq Aminu (a replacement for and a much different player than the injured Rashard Lewis), making their depth chart look even more lopsided than it already was.

Nelson joins a backcourt that already includes Raymond Felton and Devin Harris, while Aminu joins Chandler Parsons, Richard Jefferson and Jae Crowder on the wing. Seven of the Mavs’ top 11 guys are nominal point guards or small forwards.

The other four include hybrid guard Monta Ellis, stretch four Dirk Nowitzki, and Brandan Wright, who’s basically a power forward disguised as a center. At least we’ll know what position Tyson Chandler is playing whenever he’s on the floor.

Otherwise, it’s going to be positionless basketball for the Mavs. They’re going to have two point guards on the floor quite a bit. One of the small forwards (likely Aminu) is going to be backing up Nowitzki at the four. And Ellis will be a two who handles the ball more than the three point guards.

Offensively, it should work just fine. Ellis/Nowitzki pick-and-pops were already potent. But they now have, in Chandler, a better finisher down low. And they now have, in Parsons, a better attacker on the weak side.

Jose Calderon and Vince Carter will be missed. They were the Mavs’ best catch-and-shoot shooters last season. But both Parsons and Jefferson were strong in that regard as well, and Ellis and Nowitzki will make better shooters of Felton and Nelson.

It’s defense that will determine where the Mavs ultimately stand in the brutally tough Western Conference. That’s why they got back Chandler, who was the anchor of their top 10, championship defense in 2010-11.

But Chandler was also the anchor of New York defenses that ranked 17th and 24th the last two seasons. He can’t turn Dallas’ 22nd-ranked D around by himself and Shawn Marion will be missed on that end of the floor. That championship team also had Jason Kidd, DeShawn Stevenson and Brendan Haywood backing up Chandler.

In the backcourt, they can’t get worse than what they had last season. Calderon and Ellis were the Mavs’ most-used two-man combo and they allowed almost 108 points per 100 possessions with those two on the floor together. They were better both offensively and defensively — though in a fraction of the minutes — with Harris and Ellis on the floor together.

Aminu is a plus defender, but his inability to shoot will limit his minutes. Otherwise, the Mavs will need guys who haven’t been great defenders to play good defense as a unit.

On both ends of the floor, the Mavs will be fascinating to watch. They’ve used trades (Chandler), a major free agent signing (Parsons), and great deals on vets (Jefferson, Nelson, Aminu) to put a lot of talent around Nowitzki, who turned 36 last month.

It’s just a matter of how it all comes together.


  1. pete says:

    get okafor

  2. en. says:

    Rockets n spurs still holding it down for Texas baybyyy the mavs can’t have it yet

  3. kenny says:

    they look good on papper but lets see if they jell together right

  4. pete says:

    ii should be great if they could get okafor or even Jermaine O’neil, on a veterans minimum

  5. Ryan41 says:

    While defenders are busy double teaming Dirk, Chandler Parsons can easily manipulate on the weak sides with a supporting cast of Tyson Chandler in the paint and Monta and Harris in the perimeter. It could be very fun to watch! The MAVS are back!!

  6. Vaughn says:

    I agree that they look good on paper but sometimes fans get too hyped about a team that hasn’t even played together yet…..I like the moves the Mavs have made but chemistry and the experience factor will prove to be the downside of this type. Dallas played us well in the first round but a lot of it was due to mistakes that The Spurs made and a little luck but I digress…..Seven games is seven games.

    • DRAGONFORMVP says:

      to me last years mavs look strong insane depth 7 is 7 for a reason. it was fun to watch the two most deep teams out west

  7. Ramieen Brown says:

    Call me crazy but I feel this is the only team in the west with the depth and lack of problems (sorry clippers) that can possibly beat the spurs in the playoffs. This is a team to watch. Starting five will prolly be Harris, Ellis, parsons, dirk, and chandler. That is a pretty balanced group.

  8. Ryan41 says:

    The MAVS will surely be a threat in the deep West!

  9. Kirby Record says:

    In am odd way, they are just a bit like the Heat were with less up front depth and lost of back court, Could be very fun to watch. Would like to see them challenge OKC and Spurs for best in the West but that may be too much to hope for. How much does Dirk have left on a regular basis? He’s obviously still a star and capable of occasional brilliance but not really a superstar at this point. Interesting team to say the least. Don’t like Cuban but like the Mavs.

  10. MavericksFanatic88 says:

    MAVS GON WIN IT THIS SEASON!! We got a BEAST TEAM this season!! Move over San Antonio, Cleveland & Miami we comin’ for da title this year! And we WILL NOT BE DENIED!! #ItsOurTime #2014-15MavsChamps #MFFL #KingDirk wooOOOOoooOoot make sum noise!!! LETS GO MAVS!!!

  11. Whom says:

    We’ll see.

  12. Alvin081988 says:

    Spurs are the team to beat…and only Mavs were able to go head to head w/ them!!

  13. mykelti reese says:

    trade felton for a back up center , just get rid of felton

    • MrNBA says:

      I agree. They also need more wing defenders. Aminu is ok but Matrix is still better. I’m surprised they didn’t re-sign him. And I hope Parsons doesn’t become the next Keith Van Horn.

    • DRAGONFORMVP says:

      ill trade 3 slices of ham, a second round draft pick 1 million dollars and a trade exception for Felton to be my butler

  14. theholyspectator says:

    mavs lookin good right now…keep in mind they were the only team to take spurs to a 7 games in the post season last year…yes some key players left but they got some solid pieces…mavs gonna make noise…finally…

  15. LakerfanErik says:

    There are a lot of great acquisitions that where made during the off season. I think DALLAS is going to be a TEAM to watch next season next to SPURS, CLIPS and OKC. I’m a Laker FAN and obviously MAVS is a better team next season.

  16. Shawn Kemp no. 1 says:

    Carlisle will make this work

  17. NBA Lifer says:

    One thing you can say about Mark Cuban: he’s willing to take risks and spend the money to surround Dirk with quality players and depth in his twilight years. This team has the potential to at least make the playoffs again and appears better equipped than last year’s squad. Which is way more than you can say about the Lakers this year and last, who seem content on surrounding Kobe with glorified bench players. I get that they struck out on A list stars, but after a year of telling fans to be patient for the summer signings they simply resigned the same under-performing team from last year. And worst of all, Kobe will make sure they aren’t in the bottom 5 of the league this year so their first rounder goes to Suns.

    All in all, great summer for the mavs, nothing for the lakers.

  18. harrythehawk says:

    The Mavericks are quietly inching their way past playoff teams like the GSWs, Rockets and possibly even the Flippers, who may boycott.