The Dallas Mavericks Are Back, After Signing Vince Carter and Lamar Odom....But Are They Still Championship Contenders?

So far, it's looking like the Mavericks weren't that stupid in letting Tyson Chandler, Jose Juan Barea, and Caron Butler walk. In just a few short days, they've re-loaded their roster by trading for Lamar Odom with a trade exception, and signing just amnestied Vince Carter.

But before we go off singing the praises of the Mavericks, there's a few things to consider. And by consider, I mean consider; if the Mavericks repeat as champions this year, don't point to this article and say I didn't have any confidence in them. These are merely things to think about, not end all be all condemnations of a team that hasn't played a game.

How many personalities can fit in one locker room? It's not like they just signed Ron Artest And Stephen Jackson, but Vince Carter and Lamar Odom are pretty big names. Vince Carter has been used to getting the ball a lot, but he might have to get used to being a third, fourth, or even fifth fiddle when playing for Dallas. Lamar Odom knows how to get used to his role, but he has a very high-profile wife living in LA, and a lot of potential room for unnecessary drama. Not to mention that this is a team that now has Dirk, Kidd, Marion, Terry, and these two. In terms of names, that's five former All-Stars on one roster, which is nothing to sneeze at.

What happened to the culture of defense? The Mavericks went from championship contender to champion last year through signing Tyson Chandler, someone who brought excellent defense in the paint while also being a good post partner for Dirk Nowitzki. Lamar Odom is a good power forward, but he's not really suited to play the role of center, especially alongside Dirk Nowitzki. Offensively, the Mavericks might lose their mojo in the post, given how perimeter oriented both of them are. Defensively, they won't be horrible, but they won't be blocking many shots, either. Additionally, the Mavericks still haven't re-signed DeShawn Stevenson, meaning Vince Carter would be backed up by the offensively-oriented Rodrigue Beaubois.

Built for the Regular Season? This concern ties directly into the last one, but the Mavericks have always been known as a team that blows it in the playoffs. There's no real direct reason one could tie into them season after season, but there's never been a high-scoring run and gun team that's won the finals.

Matching up against the Thunder? The Thunder are a team that likes to focus on inside drives and mid-range jumpers. Losing Tyson Chandler greatly plays into the Thunder's hands, because it opens up a lot more opportunity down low. Kendrick Perkins will pretty much wash out with Lamar Odom, but Odom and Nowitzki aren't fast enough to provide great help defense in the face of a Russell Westbrook or Kevin Durant drive.

What do you think of the new look Mavericks? Post a comment!

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