The only thing San Antonio Spurs fans want more than to win it all this year is for the Dallas Mavericks to lose their title as reigning NBA champions. It was undoubtedly tough to watch Mark Cuban and his team hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy, but as we inch closer to the start of the season, it looks like the chance of a Dallas repeat gets smaller and smaller. The Mavs let some of the key parts of their championship run get away. Tyson Chandler, J.J. Barea and Caron Butler are all gone, and they brought in two aging veterans in Vince Carter and Lamar Odom to replace them.
Now, their star player is admitting he’s not even ready for the season to start. Dirk Nowitzki said after a 2-for-10 shooting performance in their last preseason game against Oklahoma City that he’s not at 100-percent.
“I’m fine, nothing hurts,” Nowitzki said. “The wind will come back, but it’s definitely better than what it was two weeks ago when we started camp. I actually wasn’t joking about the amnesty thing two weeks ago. That’s how bad I looked. It’s been some hard work the last two weeks, but I’m still obviously not 100 percent.”
I think we can expect the Mavs to have a very slow start. The championship hangover mixed with the new players and some rusty older ones is going to make it hard to get things going. They’ll definitely struggle at first, and even if they can get a good stride going around mid-season, I still don’t see them as a title contender. That’s good news for any Spurs fan who’s tired of their Texas rivals still calling themselves champions.