Search

4 Dallas Mavericks Will adding two more big-time scorers make this a dream team?

Oct. 27, 2003
Oct. 27, 2003

Table of Contents
Oct. 27, 2003

NBA Preview 2003-04
NBA Preview 2003-04: Scouting Reports
Departments

4 Dallas Mavericks Will adding two more big-time scorers make this a dream team?

Shortly before he arrived in Dallas for a season that--unlike his
previous five with the Warriors--should include a playoff
appearance, Antawn Jamison had a dream about his new teammates.
Steve Nash, steaming downcourt with the ball, had Jamison on one
wing, Michael Finley on the other and Dirk Nowitzki trailing.
Jamison was coy about revealing the finish of that fast break
(who tells every detail of a dream?) but hinted that the
denouement had something to do with a ring.

This is an article from the Oct. 27, 2003 issue Original Layout

That heady reverie took place even before the Mavericks' stunning
acquisition of Antoine Walker in a trade with the Celtics on
Monday, a deal that gives Dallas a ridiculously potent
frontcourt. Who defers to whom on their way to the hoop will have
to be worked out, but the player most likely to show deference is
Jamison. Though he's a 20.2-points-a-game career scorer, he can't
seem to shake a reputation for disappearing at crunch time
(contrary to gutty guard Nick Van Exel, whom the Mavs gave up to
get him). Jamison believes such criticism had a lot to do with
his playing on a losing team. "I am not one of those guys trying
to get rid of the ball with two minutes left in the game," he says.

Even if he were, Jamison won't be pressed into taking over in the
clutch--not with Finley, Nash and Nowitzki getting so much
big-game experience last year in Dallas's run to the conference
final. As for the revamped frontcourt, Jamison, Nowitzki and
Walker can score by posting up or shooting from outside, and the
Mavericks can always use another rebounder like Jamison, who has
averaged 7.5 rebounds in his career.

Nonetheless, the Mavs will need some breaks just to crack the top
four in the loaded West. And a championship? That's still
somebody's dream for now. --J.M.

COLOR PHOTO: GLENN JAMES/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES Antawn JamisonCOLOR PHOTO: BOB ROSATO (NOWITZKI) WITZ' END For Dallas to keep up with the big boys in the West, Nowitzki must get help inside from some newcomers.

ENEMY LINES
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Mavericks

"First, they robbed Golden State of Antawn Jamison, then they not
only unloaded Raef LaFrentz's bad contract to Boston but also got
one of the NBA's most versatile players, Antoine Walker, in
return. Walker gives Dallas a leader who can fill various roles
from night to night with his scoring, passing and rebounding....
Imagine a starting lineup of Jamison, Walker, Dirk Nowitzki,
Michael Finley and Steve Nash--it's the ultimate experiment by
mad professor Don Nelson. He's going all-out, pedal-to-the-metal
on offense and daring opponents to keep up with them. Some nights
they'll start Shawn Bradley or Danny Fortson at center; otherwise
they'll make do with multiple zone and man-to-man defenses while
concentrating on outscoring you.... As flashy as this team is,
you can't win the title without an inside presence. That's why
Nowitzki needs to have an MVP-type season for the Mavs to go to
the Finals.... Nash is the guy who can help Nowitzki do that.
They're getting to be like Stockton and Malone in the way they
look for each other on the pick-and-roll. The difference is that
you rarely see Nowitzki roll to the basket because he has so much
confidence in his jump shot.... They'll also need Nowitzki to
make up for some of the big baskets they lost in trading Nick Van
Exel for Jamison. With Van Exel gone, it's more important than
ever that Nelson manage the minutes for Nash, who plays so hard
he exposes himself to injury.... Jamison gets his points in the
flow of the offense, which is how you have to play in Dallas. To
make himself really valuable, he needs to rebound for them....
This might be their last chance to win it all with this style of
play. If they fail, I don't see Mark Cuban being patient."

FAST FACT

Despite selecting 14 players in the last six years, the Mavs were
the only team to use none of its former draft picks during 2002-03.

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
with 2002-03 statistics

Record: 60-22 (2nd in West)
Points scored: 103.0 (1st in NBA)
Points allowed: 95.2 (16th)
Coach: Don Nelson (seventh season with Mavericks)

DIRK NOWITZKI

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG BPG SPG FG% 3FG%
C 5 25.1 9.9 3.0 1.o3 1.39 46.3 37.9

[1]ANTAWN JAMISON

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG BPG SPG FG% 3FG%
SF 46 22.2 7.0 1.9 0.55 0.93 47.0 31.1

STEVE NASH

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG SPG FG% 3FG% FT%
PG 30 17.7 2.9 7.3 1.04 46.5 41.3 90.9

MICHAEL FINLEY

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG SPG FG% 3FG% FT%
SG 32 19.3 5.8 3.0 1.10 42.5 37.0 86.1

[1]ANTOINE WALKER

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG BPG SPG FG% 3FG%
PF 13 20.1 7.2 4.8 0.40 1.49 38.8 32.3

BENCH PVR* 2002-03 KEY STATS

G[1] TRAVIS
BEST 167 8.4 ppg 2.0 rpg 3.5 apg 0.61 spg 39.6 FG%
F EDUARDO
NAJERA 185 6.7 ppg 4.6 rpg 0.83 spg 0.46 bpg 55.8 FG%
F-C[1] DANNY
FORTSON 198 3.5 ppg 4.3 rpg 0.53 spg 37.0 FG% 65.5 FT%
G[1] TONY
DELK 206 9.8 ppg 2.2 apg 1.07 spg 41.6 FG% 39.5 3FG%
C SHAWN
BRADLEY 267 6.7 ppg 5.9 rpg 2.10 bpg 53.6 FG% 80.6 FT%

NEW ACQUISITION [1]
*PVR: Player Value Ranking (explanation on page 94)