This article is part of our NBA Team Previews series.
STATE OF THE FRANCHISE
A championship hangover coupled with the compressed schedule from the lockout were a difficult combination for a veteran-filled Mavericks team. Even Dirk Nowitzki had a down year, needing time off in the middle of the season to improve his conditioning. Even so, the 2011 champs still managed to make the postseason before being ousted by the Thunder. Owner Mark Cuban entered the offseason armed with cap space and took aim at several marquee names, including Deron Williams.
Early on, things looked bleak when Williams elected to return to New Jersey and in-house free agents Jason Kidd and Jason Terry headed elsewhere. However, Cuban was able to salvage the summer by creatively adding veterans Chris Kaman and Elton Brand, and trading for point guard Darren Collison. OJ Mayo also joined the mix, signing a two-year deal in July. The new look Mavs will not enter the season as favorites but will have enough depth to remain in playoff contention.
PLAYING TIME DISTRIBUTION
Coach Rick Carlisle is known for his creativity and will have plenty of versatility with the team's eight new additions. He has a stable full of guards, many capable of playing both backcourt positions. Darren Collison is expected to start at point and should see 30 minutes of action per night, with Delonte West assuming Jason Terry's old role as the first guard off the bench. Expect West to receive about 25 minutes of action, split between both guard positions. Rodrigue