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Dallas Mavericks Betting Outlook
Western Conference Odds: +1100
Preseason NBA Championship Odds: +2400
The Dallas Mavericks are optimistic heading into the 2020-21 season, hopeful that they can stay healthy and return to the playoffs for a second straight season. Last year, the Mavericks took the LA Clippers to six games in the first round of the playoffs behind the play of Luka Doncic.
Doncic continues to develop into a superstar, with the Mavericks putting a couple more pieces around him this season. Guard Josh Richardson should provide scoring and defense after coming over from Philadelphia in the offseason. Forward Kristaps Porzingis will miss the start of the season but should return, giving Dallas even more versatility.
The key will be playing as a team, which will be helped by Doncic’s playmaking and leadership. This team should be in the mix for a top four seed in the West and a dangerous matchup in the postseason.
Mavericks 2021 Predictions
Regular Season Record: 46-26
Conference Standing: Fourth
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At just 21 and entering his third season in the NBA, Doncic is already regarded as one of the league’s best players and leaders. He really raised his game in his first playoff appearance last year, and he is a constant threat to finish with a triple-double. He’s also become more fiery with his teammates as well as using his influential voice with the referees. As he goes, the Mavericks go, which could be quite far.
Porzingis is hoping to be able to avoid the injuries that have caused him problems in his career. He had offseason surgery on the torn meniscus that sidelined him. When he’s back, Porzingis is a matchup nightmare, a 7-footer who can play all over the floor and burn defenses with long-range shooting or drives to the hoop.
Dallas Mavericks Team History
The Dallas Mavericks joined the NBA as an expansion franchise for the 1980-81 season, and the team didn’t get off to a good start, as its first draft pick, Kiki Vandeweghe, selected with the No. 11 pick in the 1980 draft, refused to play for the team. VanDeWeghe held out and was eventually traded to the Denver Nuggets for two future first-round draft picks.
Dallas struggled at first, finishing with a record of 15-67 in their first season, but the team increased its win total in each of its first five seasons. The 1981 draft was key to the team’s development, as the Mavericks took Mark Aguirre with the No. 1 overall pick and Rolando Blackman at No. 9 with one of the selections from the Kiki Vandeweghe trade.
The Mavericks made the postseason in their fourth NBA season, beginning a string of five straight playoff appearances. The team added players like guard Derek Harper and forwards Sam Perkins and Detlef Schrempf in the draft, and under coach John McLeod in his first season with the Mavericks, Dallas advanced to the Western Conference finals. It lost in seven games to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers, and only made the playoffs one time over the next 12 seasons.
The downtime for the franchise came despite the presence of players like Jason Kidd, Jim Jackson and Jamal Mashburn, who were brought to the team in consecutive drafts in the early 1990s. Don Nelson was brought on as general manager midway through the 1996-97 season, then became head coach 16 games into the 1997-98 campaign.
Nelson dealt away Kidd, Jackson and Mashburn in multiple deals, with one of the trades bringing Michael Finley to the team. In the 1998 draft, the Mavericks selected Robert Traylor out of Michigan with the No. 6 pick and traded his rights to Milwaukee for the rights to a 20-year-old German player, Dirk Nowitzki. Dallas also traded for guard Steve Nash, putting together a trio of players that would lead the team back to the playoffs.
The Mavericks began a string of 12 straight playoff seasons in 2000-01, and they advanced to the Western Conference finals in 2003, falling to the Spurs after Nowitzki was sidelined with a knee injury. Nash left as a free agent in 2004, and Nelson gave way to Avery Johnson as coach with 18 games to go in the 2004-05 campaign.
The Mavericks won 60 games in 2005-06, advancing to the Western Conference finals against Nash and the Suns. Dallas eliminated Phoenix in six games, sending the franchise to their first NBA Finals appearance, where they lost to the Miami Heat in six games.
The 2006-07 season saw Dallas finish with a 67-15 record, and Nowitzki won the league’s MVP award. Unfortunately, the Mavericks ran into former coach Nelson and the eighth-seeded Golden State Warriors and were upset in six games.
Dallas also lost in the first round the next year, which cost Johnson his job. Rick Carlisle was brought on as head coach. Kidd was brought back to the team, along with players like Shawn Marion, Jason Terry and Tyson Chandler, forming the nucleus of the Mavericks’ 2010-11 team that advanced to the NBA Finals. Once again, the Miami Heat were Dallas’ opponent.
This time, though, it was the Mavericks who came out on top, defeating the team of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in their first season playing together. Nowitzki was named the Finals MVP.
Surprisingly, that was the last playoff series that Dallas has won. The team was unable to recapture the same success, making the playoffs in four of the next five seasons but falling in the first round each time.
Nowitzki continued to be productive until his final season, as he retired following the 2018-19 campaign as the highest-scoring foreign-born player in NBA history. He was also the only player in league history to play for the same team for 21 seasons.
Nowitzki’s path crossed by one year with the Mavericks’ newest star, Luka Doncic, the No. 3 pick of the 2018 draft who was traded to Dallas on draft night. Doncic won Rookie of the Year honors in 2018-19, then led the team to their first playoff appearance in four years in 2019-20.
Nowitzki is a sure first-ballot Hall of Famer, and he’ll join five other players who have made the Hall of Fame after playing for the Mavericks, including Kidd and Nash. Former coach Nelson is also a Hall of Famer.
In the Mavericks’ first season without Dirk Nowitzki in more than two decades, Dallas had optimism heading into the season that Doncic could lead it back to the playoffs. The Mavericks were also excited to have Porzingis, who they had acquired from the Knicks during the 2018-19 campaign, on the floor for the first time.
The combination worked well, and the Mavericks were in contention for the Southwest Division crown throughout the season. Dallas had already eclipsed its win total from the previous season with a 40-27 mark when the NBA paused the season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In the Orlando restart, the Mavericks went just 3-5 in their final eight regular-season games, dropping them down to the seventh seed in the West and giving them a first-round matchup with the LA Clippers.
Dallas fought hard against the heavily-favored Clippers, tying the series at 2-2 behind a triple-double by Doncic, who hit the game-winning three-pointer in overtime at the buzzer. But, with Porzingis sidelined with an injury, the Mavericks couldn’t keep up and dropped the next two contests and the series in six games.
Rick Carlisle enters his 13th season as the Dallas Mavericks head coach, ranking as the team’s all-time winningest coach with 513 regular-season victories. Carlisle has also been at the helm for 30 Dallas playoff wins.
Carlisle was a star guard for Virginia in college before being drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1984 and spending five years in the NBA as a player. Immediately after his playing career was done, Carlisle joined the New Jersey Nets as an assistant coach.
Carlisle spent 11 years as an assistant with the Nets, Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers before getting his first head coaching job with the Detroit Pistons prior to the 2001-02 season. Despite being named NBA Coach of the Year in 2001-02 and winning two straight Central Division titles, Carlisle was fired after two seasons.
He rejoined the Indiana Pacers as the team’s head coach for the 2003-04 season, leading the team to the Eastern Conference finals in his first campaign. Carlisle lasted four years in Indiana, making the playoffs three times, before cutting ties with the franchise following a non-playoff season in 2006-07, leading to his hiring in Dallas.
In 18 seasons as an NBA head coach, Carlisle has a record of 794-659 with 13 playoff appearances.
Josh Richardson, guard, Philadelphia 76ers
James Johnson, forward, Minnesota Timberwolves
Wes Iwundu, forward, Orlando Magic
Seth Curry, guard, Philadelphia 76ers
J.J. Barea, guard
Tyler Bey, guard, Colorado
Freddie Gillespie, forward, Baylor
Josh Green, guard, Arizona
Tyrell Terry, guard, Stanford
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