This article is part of our NBA Team Previews series.
STATE OF THE FRANCHISE
The Mavericks find themselves in unfamiliar territory just two years after winning their first championship in franchise history. After missing out on the playoffs for the first time in 12 seasons, Mark Cuban entered the offseason with his sights set on grabbing a marquee free agent. However, Chris Paul re-upped with the Clippers, and Dwight Howard joined the in-state rival Rockets, forcing the Mavs to consider other alternatives.
Plan B included a complete overhaul of the backcourt, starting with the signings of Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis. They added an injection of youth with the additions of Shane Larkin, Gal Mekel and Ricky Ledo and welcomed back former Maverick Devin Harris. Samuel Dalembert and DeJuan Blair were then signed to bolster the frontline, replacing the departed Elton Brand and Chris Kaman.
With nine new faces on the roster, the team will lean heavily on franchise star Dirk Nowitzki, who is looking to bounce back from a season marred by injury. The Mavs will make a push for the playoffs if Nowitzki can stay healthy and coach Rick Carlisle can successfully integrate the new players into his rotation.
PLAYING TIME DISTRUBUTION
Jose Calderon will start at point in a totally revamped Dallas backcourt. The veteran should see 30 minutes of action per game, with a healthy Devin Harris serving as the first guard off the bench. Harris will receive about 25 minutes, split between both guard positions. Shane Larkin will see his share