by Yusuf Gadlin
Dirk Nowitzki has a couple of years left in the NBA. He is already a first ballot hall of famer, and one my top three favorite players off all time. Dirk has captured one championship ring, and continues to climb the all-time scoring list one leg fade away at a time.
This upcoming season, Dirk has a chance to grab ring number two, and I think a chance to go down as top five greatest dead or alive. But that’s only if he hoists the Larry O’Brien trophy in the middle of June.
The Dallas Mavericks was the only team to push the eventual champions San Antonio Spurs to seven games last year in the playoffs. The Mavs have acquired point guard and three-point specialist Jameer Nelson and have acquired 25-year-old Chandler Parson to provide a heavy scoring punch at the small forward position. If you also factor in defensive-minded Tyson Chandler’s return to Dallas, one can argue this is one the most talented teams Dirk Nowitzki has ever played on.
To me, all Dallas has to do is monitor the 7-foot German’s minuets as he will soon be 37-years-of-age. Keeping Nowitzki fresh for the playoffs should be Mavs coach Rick Carlisle’s top priority. He is a top four coach in the NBA, so I’m pretty sure he knows this.
Next is keeping Tyson Chandler healthy and engaged on the defensive end at all times. Chandler won his first championship with Dallas back in 2011 as the defensive anchor of the team. He and his Dallas Mavericks teammates were hungry to win it all that year: The key word here is HUNGRY. If Maverick players take to the playoffs, or have a lot of defensive breakdowns at the top of the key, don’t expect Tyson Chandler to save the day if his teammates aren’t giving their heart and soul on the defensive end.
The next critical ingredient for a Dallas Maverick championship is streaky shooting, but ultra-talented shooting guard Monta Ellis. If Monta can consistently stay efficient shooting the basketball this year, say around 47 percent and dish out around eight assists look out Western Conference. I’m basically calling for a career year from Monta. If he ever wanted to prove his doubters wrong about being a winner, this is the year to do it.
Finally the addition of Chandler Parsons. If he can break out and also have a career year, then there is no question Dallas will be a force come playoff time. Parsons has all the motivation needed to pull of this request. Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey said Parsons is not a reliable third option on a championship team. As a result Morey let Parsons sign with the rival Dallas, thinking it not a big deal because Houston still has superstars James Harden and Dwight Howard. Factor in Parsons was just cut from Team USA’s roster, I expect a hungry and focused Parsons for the 2015 NBA season.
Yes my friends, people will overlook the Mavs this year because of teams like the Spurs, Thunder, Clippers, and the return of some guy named Kobe Bryant. But there will be no overlooking the Dallas Mavericks if they develop the type of chemistry they had in 2011. If the Mavs can achieve that trait and plus the greatness of Dirk Nowitzki, I really see “The Big German” capturing his second ring.