It has been a roller coaster ride for the reigning National Basketball Association champs this season. Starting 0-3 for the season, this is not what the Dallas Mavericksenvisioned coming in the season. It also did not help that they lost via free agency key players who played in last year’s championship team namely Tyson Chandler (now with New York Knicks) and Jose Juan Barea (now with Minnesota Timberwolves). Dallas also lost Caron Butler to the Los Angeles Clippers. Owners of Dallas Mavericks tickets still believes that their team can regroup and get a solid run down the stretch to defend their title.
Having obtained reigning Sixth Man of the Year Lamar Odom can certainly help this team in their quest for a back-to-back but the 32-year-old forward is having his worst season of his 12-year career. Playing his fewest minutes in the NBA (21.6) this season, Odom is averaging 8.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in career-worst 35 percent shooting. His best game of the season came against the Utah Jazz on January 27 when he scored a season-high 19 points on 7-12 shooting.
Odom was traded by the Los Angeles Lakers to Dallas after his request to be moved back in December. This came after his supposed trade to the New Orleans Hornets was nixed by the NBA.
The Maverickshas also missed the services of the reigning Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki for four games after a planned hiatus for the star forward. The team decided to rest Nowitzki to strengthen his sore right knee and also his conditioning. Dallas went 3-1 without Nowitzki who is averaging 17.5 points and 5.4 rebounds through 16 games played. Veteran point guard Jason Kidd already missed four games this month due to a lower back injury and will miss the upcoming games of the Mavericks this week after hurting his right calf in the game against the Jazz. His right calf strain would probably cost him the next five games of Dallas against San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns (road), Oklahoma City Thunder, Indiana Pacers, and Cleveland Cavaliers (road).
In the most awaited night of the season for the champs, the Ring Night was spoiled after losing the game against the upstart Minnesota Timberwolves 105-90. On the day (January 25) that the Mavericks got their championship rings, all star Kevin Love put up a big game scoring 31 points and grabbing 10 rebounds for Minnesota. That game also featured the return of Barea in Dallas playing for a different team but did not play due to a sprained left ankle. Barea was the reason why Dallas held their ring ceremony on that day.
Despite the up-and-down season of the Mavericks, one player that has come through for Dallas is third-year player Rodrigue Beaubois. In his first start of the season against the Jazz, the Frenchman scored 22 points, handed out seven assists, grabbed six rebounds, and blocked four shots. He followed that up with a 14-7-3-3 game against the rival Spurs.
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