DALLAS - This season marks a decade since the Dallas Mavericks first and only NBA championship in 2011. With stars Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis getting major defensive help, could the 2020-21 season be the Mavericks' chance to bring the world title back to Dallas?
Here is where Dallas' odds currently stand:
NBA Championship: +2200
Western Conference: +1100
The reigning-champion Los Angeles Lakers are the obvious favorites at +230, followed by the Brooklyn Nets at +500. The Mavericks' +2200 odds are tied with the Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers for the eighth best odds in the NBA.
One showcase for who's who? Doncic gets to play against one of his idols, Lebron James, in primetime on Christmas Day.
I want to win the championship,'' Doncic said. "And that's the goal we're going to enter this year as a whole group."
The Mavs looks to build on their playoff experience from last season's "bubble" in Orlando, in which Dallas took the chippy Los Angeles Clippers to six games. Dallas' record-setting offense shined but it lacked a defensive presence... Which turned into priority No. 1 this offseason.
The 2011 championship Mavs had something that last season's Mavs did not... Defensive edge-minded players.
Dallas added personnel to help with it's below-average defense. Rookie Josh Green and vets Josh Richardson, James Johnson and Wes Iwundu can help. However, the carryover guys on the roster need to pitch in as well.
“When you establish that you’re a galactically successful offensive team, but below average defensively, that’s not going to win you a championship,” Carlisle said. “I don’t believe there’s ever been a team that’s won a title in the NBA that hasn’t been a good defensive team.''
So, in order for the Mavs to shock the league and bring home the trophy, Dallas must find a way to get stops... and it appears they are willing to evolve ... A good sign for anyone laying down their cash on Dallas.
Speaking of odds, Doncic enters his third season in the NBA looking for his first MVP award. Doncic has the best odds to bring home the trophy, barely edging out reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Mavs regular season schedule, so far, features a pair of nationally broadcasted away games:
Dec. 23, Mavericks vs. Suns, 9:30 p.m. CT ESPN
Dec. 25, Mavericks vs. Lakers, 7:00 p.m. CT ESPN
Dallas' first preseason game is in Milwaukee vs. the Bucks on December 14 at 7 p.m. CT.