Dallas Mavericks:  Power Rankings Unkind


The Dallas Mavericks are about to learn what the experts think of their chances this season as the latest power ranks start rolling in.

It doesn’t take Nostradamus to know the Dallas Mavericks are going to feel the pain in this season’s power rankings. To say the Dallas Mavericks had a tumultuous offseason is a bit of an understatement, considering the disaster that was the courtship of DeAndre Jordan.

The Dallas Mavericks were on the cusp of luring in their first-ever premium free agent. But as everyone knows by now, after agreeing to terms, Jordan changed his mind locked himself in his room, and rejoined the Clippers. Lost in the purgatory of that situation, was the departure of Tyson Chandler to Phoenix.

Gmhoops has released their preemptive power rankings and actually have the Dallas Mavericks about where you’d expect them to be, #15. Some may argue that number is too low, but considering most power rankings are planning to drop the Mavs considerably lower, #15 may be generous.

It’s understandable why the national media is so low on the Dallas Mavericks this season. One moment, the Mavs substantially upgraded at the center position. The next moment, the Mavs took a ginormous step back. Not surprisingly, that is where majority of the national media stopped paying attention.

That is probably why much of the national experts are expected to be so unkind in their final preseason power rankings. Lost in the negative headlines was the addition of some pretty darn good players. The Mavs clearly took a step back at center, but they added a plethora of viable options.

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Offensively, Zaza Pachulia is a match-up nightmare for opponents. JaVale McGee is a high risk/high reward player that could carry a team if the stars align. The Tunisian center, Salah Mejri, joins the platoon as another highly athletic shot-blocker with seemingly high potential. And the low-risk veteran Samuel Dalembert provides insurance for the entire position group.

These names may not be in the same stratosphere as DeAndre Jordan, or even Tyson Chandler, but they all offer a certain level potential without very much salary risk.

The Mavericks lost out on all the top free agent point guards but received an absolute steal when they scooped up Deron Williams on a 2yr/$10M deal after a late buyout with Brooklyn. Joining Williams in the backcourt is Wesley Matthews.

Matthews is a rare 2-way player who can excel at both ends of the court against some pretty high-level competition. Matthews may be recovering from an Achilles injury, but the big-bodied Matthews has never relied on speed and explosiveness in his game before, any potential loss in those attributes are unlikely to affect him going forward.

Perhaps the most overlooked impact player is failed recruiter, Chandler Parsons. Parsons may be recovering from knee surgery, but he’s expected to take a big leap in the offense this season. The pick and roll (or pop) small forward appears to be a perfect complement to Deron Williams’ and Wesley Matthews’ games.

This offseason didn’t go as expected, but it could have been exponentially worse. The players acquired have excellent value and big-time potential. Their games complement one another and for every risky play, there is a safe player waiting in the wings.

Are the Dallas Mavericks contenders this season?

Probably not, but they aren’t mediocre either. As long as no injury (or recovery) setbacks don’t pop up, the Mavs have a chance at legitimacy and even a low playoff seed.

When the rankings start rolling out, think of all of the overlooked improvements the Dallas Mavericks made and let that fuel your optimism.

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