The Mavericks 2013-2014 season came to a conclusion Sunday afternoon in San Antonio, and while it may not have been the type of performance we were expecting, we should still remember that many didn’t have them even getting this far. The Mavericks now head into a summer that will prove to be plenty busy for Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson. Questions that need to be immediately addressed our whether Vince Carter, Shawn Marion, or Devin Harris will return. Also, how low in salary is Dirk Nowitzki willing to sign for. These are questions that need to be answered in order to know what the overall game plan will be moving forward.
In terms of offense, the Mavericks were one of the best teams in the NBA. Defensively, they were on the other end of the spectrum. The Mavericks roster is full of players who play well on offense or defense, but not many who can do both. Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon are threats with the basketball, but in terms of being lock down defenders, they aren’t even close. Shawn Marion remains an excellent defender, even at 34 years old, but he isn’t a huge threat on offense as much these days. This is something they will need to address this off-season if they have any hope in becoming a serious threat in the dangerous Western Conference.
Something that was very clear in Sunday’s blowout loss was that the Mavericks have to find a big-time player to complement Nowitzki. Right now, Nowitzki still remains the Mavericks’ best player. While Ellis proved many of his critics wrong this season, he is just not capable of leading this team, and Dirk is only getting older. When Ellis is hitting those midrange jumpers, he is as big a threat as there is. When those shots aren’t falling, teams go underneath that screen and force him to hurt them from outside. The Spurs did that all day yesterday, and limited Ellis to only one basket in the paint, while he ended up shooting 8-21 from the field.
Look for the Mavericks to address some of these major concerns this off-season. While it is always difficult to see players go elsewhere, it’s going to have to be something the front office and the fans experience this summer. This was a team that overcome a lot of odds throughout the season, and almost delivered one of the greatest first round upsets this league has ever seen. However, in the end, this team was just not built to keep defying those odds. Cuban and Nelson will get back to the drawing board and figure out a way to give their aging superstar a couple more shots at it.
In ends in brutal fashion, but the 2013-14 Mavericks had a very entertaining season. They pushed the cart as far as it could go.
One thing is for sure. It will be awfully busy for the Mavericks this summer, and we will be right here to cover all of that crazy action for you!