Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Time to evaluate the Dallas Mavericks 2007-2008 squad!

This will be far from my only post on the 2007-2008 Dallas Mavericks, but I figured that with the release of the new schedule and a couple FA signings (with 1 or 2 more to come), we should take a look at what we have so far. Will this year be the year?!?

Over the course of last year we improved greatly on the defensive side of the ball, however, we really lacked toughness. Yes, we had Buckner and George who are tough defenders, but we need guys who have a little attitude problem. I hate to use him as an example, but guys like Bruce Bowen. I don't want the Mavs to be dirty like Bowen, but I do like his "I don't care if you like me" attitude. The only guy we had on our team with this attitude was Stackhouse. He brings that swagger, we need. I think both Buckner and George have some of this, and adding another good defender in Eddie Jones, will continue to help us in this area. Not to mention, Brandon Bass is a beast and going to help in this area, as well!

We do have 1 or 2 more spots that will probably go towards getting at least 1 more big man. My guess is that we will land either P.J. Brown or Chris Webber. Both of those guys are great veterans with that "swagger" we need. I am extremely excited when I look at the depth chart so far:

PG: Jason Terry, Devin Harris, Jose Barea
SG: Jerry Stackhouse, Greg Buckner, Maurice Ager
SF: Josh Howard, Devean George, Eddie Jones
PF: Dirk Nowitzki, Brandon Bass, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Nick Fazekas
C: Erick Dampier, DeSagana Diop, Didier Ilunga-Mbenga

Devin Harris will likely start at the PG spot (not sure where that puts Terry in the mix). Harris has improved steadily over the past couple years and has put on nearly 20 pounds this summer, without losing a step of quickness, which is going to help him a lot against stronger guards. Considering his defense was already very good against guys like Tony Parker, I can't wait to see him against the stronger guards like Baron Davis (brings back bad memories).

The SG spot will probably go to Josh Howard, who will come in and improve on his numbers from last year, just as he has done each year. He has become great on offense and probably our best defender. This means George will probably start at SF, where he did excellent until he hurt his knee last season. And of course, there is Dirk, who will be his typical MVP self. Down low we will go tag-team with Dampier and Diop, who are both very solid defenders and rebounders. Offensively, Dampier is a guy we can utilize a little more than Diop.

I love our starters, but when I look at our bench, that is when I get really excited. The thought of having guys like Jason Terry, Jerry Stackhouse, Eddie Jones, Greg Buckner, Chris Webber or P.J. Brown, Diop, MBenga, Mo Ager, and Brandon Bass coming off the bench is VERY exciting! Most of these guys would start on other teams, but we have them as 2nd and 3rd string bench players!

If we end up grabbing a guy like Webber or P.J. Brown, I think we have to be the favorites to win it, again. I truely think last year was a fluke in the playoffs. Dallas was the best team all year (with exception to the 4 regular season games against Golden State) and this year they are keeping all of their top players, and adding 2 or 3 more key guys. This will be an exciting year, indeed. I will have more Maverick news once Pre-season starts and I have had time to evaluate all of our players and additions.

Mavericks Roster, as it stands now:
34 Devin Harris G 6-3 185 02/27/1983 Wisconsin 3
5 Josh Howard F 6-7 210 04/28/1980 Wake Forest 4
40 Devean George G-F 6-8 235 08/29/1977 Augsburg 8
41 Dirk Nowitzki F 7-0 245 06/19/1978 Germany 9
25 Erick Dampier C 6-11 265 07/14/1975 Mississippi State 11
31 Jason Terry G 6-2 180 09/15/1977 Arizona 8
42 Jerry Stackhouse G-F 6-6 218 11/05/1974 North Carolina 12
1 Greg Buckner G-F 6-4 210 09/16/1976 Clemson 8
33 Brandon Bass F 6-8 240 04/30/1985 Louisiana State 2
7 DeSagana Diop C 7-0 280 01/30/1982 Oak Hill Academy HS (VA) 6
11 Jose Barea G 6-0 175 06/26/1984 Northeastern 1
3 Maurice Ager G 6-5 202 02/09/1984 Michigan State 1
Eddie Jones (FA) G-F 6-6 200 10/20/1971 Temple 13
Nick Fazekas F 6-11 235 06/17/1985 Nevada-Reno R
28 Didier Ilunga-Mbenga C 7-0 255 12/30/1980 Congo 3
21 Pops Mensah-Bonsu F 6-9 240 09/07/1983 George Washington 1

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