Watchability Rankings: Dallas Mavericks
by Adi Joseph, USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports’ Adi Joseph and Sean Highkin will be counting down NBA teams based on watchability for the upcoming 2013-14 seasons. We’ll go one team a day, from least-watchable to most, giving you an idea of what to keep an eye out for this season. Today, we arrive at the No. 19 Dallas Mavericks:
2012-13 record: 41-41, missed playoffs
Adi Joseph’s 2013-14 record projection: 32-50, miss playoffs
Two best players (2012-13 stats): PF Dirk Nowitzki (17.3 points, 6.8 rebounds a game, 41.4% three-point shooting), SG Monta Ellis (19.2 points, 6.0 assists, 2.1 steals a game for Milwaukee Bucks).
Overview: The Mavericks don’t seem only three years removed from an NBA championship. Nowitzki, one of the greatest players in NBA history, missed 29 games last year with a knee injury and was just rounding back into form by the end of the season. Fellow veteran forward Shawn Marion is the only other player left from the 2011 champions. New backcourtmates Jose Calderon and Ellis are a strange pairing that probably won’t be able to defend anyone. Rick Carlisle is one of the NBA’s best coaches, but he’ll have a tough time staying in the playoff hunt even with a veteran roster after whiffing on Dwight Howard this summer.
WHY YOU CAN’T MISS THEM
The most charming superstar in the NBA: Nowitzki, who is a free agent after this season, is one of the greatest players in league history on and off the court. He has all the goofiness of Howard or Blake Griffin, but it seems even more genuine. And his “Iron Leg” jump shot is on the same level as Hakeem Olajuwon’s “Dream Shake” and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s “Sky Hook” in terms of branded, unblockable shots. And he’s a fiery competitor, always ready for game day.
Trick shots: Ellis takes way too many shots. And most of those shots are difficult. And he shoots a low percentage because those difficult shots are guarded. But the man has reason to be confident: He has a collection of some of the most ridiculous trick shots in the NBA. Ellis is that friend who completely dominated every one-on-one … [For more on NBA Watchability Rankings: No. 19 Dallas Mavericks, click here.]