I’m writing this article with the obvious disclaimer there’s going to be an NBA season next year. Hey, I’m an optimistic guy.
The NBA was built for dynasties. In football, one upset loss knocks you out of the playoffs making it very difficult to repeat. Baseball has just too many variables and so much young talent that teams change a lot year to year. Unless you have money like the New York Yankees, it’s really hard to keep up, and even they slip from time to time.
But the seven game series in the NBA is built so that the better team comes out on top. I know a lot of San Antonio Spurs fans are reading this thinking I’m crazy if I thought the Memphis Grizzlies were better than the Spurs this year, and for the record I don’t, but that’s just an exception to the rule.
If you have the best talent one year, you should come back ready to defend your title. Like the Spurs and Lakers in the 2000s and the Bulls in the ‘90s, you take your championship winning team, build in the offseason and go for the ring again.
The Dallas Mavericks aren’t built for a dynasty. They won’t be the team of the 2010s, but they will make it far next year. They were clearly the best team this year, and what’s really going to change? Yes, all those veterans will be another year older, but they’re not at the age where their careers will drop off drastically in one year.
On draft night, the Mavericks traded away their first round pick for a veteran shooter. A questionable trade in my opinion, because I’ve never thought that highly of Rudy Fernandez. And what do the Mavs need another spot-up shooter for anyway? But talking with my brother, he pointed out that they were giving up young talent for experience. They’re not looking for a project right now, they’re looking for guys who are ready to bring all they have to the table and make one more run, maybe two.
So, do I think the Mavs are going to be like the Lakers, Spurs and Bulls of years past? No. I see them at least getting to the Finals next year - again, assuming the season actually happens - but maybe fizzling out down the road when age catches up to them and they have to start rebuilding.
For now, no one has an answer for Dirk Nowitzki, their defense only gets better and they keep finding new ways to score. But the Heat are only going to get better, the Bulls are young but they’ll get there with experience, the Thunder really just need a better coach and plenty of other teams are capable of a surprise.
So, enjoy it while it lasts Mavs fans, because it won’t last forever.