A simple question with varied, complicated answers: what needs to happen for the Mavs’ 2009-2010 season to be considered a success? Given the roster assembled, is winning the championship the only way to declare the campaign a successful one? Or, in light of relative expectations, is it enough to merely challenge the natural order?
That’s where you guys come in. I’m going to list some goals for the team at large, but this is by no means a solo enterprise. Sound off in the comments with your ideas. As the week goes on, we’ll narrow the focus to more specific goals (coaching, backcourt, frontcourt, etc.), so for now let’s keep it team-wide:
- 50+ wins. The number 50 isn’t terribly significant, but those nice, round numbers are nice. Plus, ’09-’10 would mark the tenth consecutive season of 50 wins or more. Shiny.
- Top three in offensive efficiency. The Mavs have enough weapons to be a remarkable offensive team, and anything less than an elite offense would have to be considered a disappointment. Anchoring high-level offenses happens to be a Dirk specialty, so I fully expect him, along with JET and Kidd, to enjoy playing with the new toys.
- Top ten in defensive efficiency. If the Mavs want to pose a serious threat on the contending scene, they’ll need a defense that can maintain some semblance of respectability. The D last season was mediocre/average, which is either not good enough or not so bad. The addition of Shawn Marion and hopefully a healthier Josh Howard should shore up the defense, and a top ten mark would quantify that improvement nicely.
- Improve over the course of the regular season. I don’t expect linear improvement from the get-go, but I’d like to see a Mavs team that’s much improved after game 82 than they were before game 1. The ups and downs in between are expected, but having a team on the up and up going into the playoffs will do wonders for the squad’s confidence.
- Don’t roll over and die. Even though the Mavs lost in five games to the Nuggets, I never got the vibe that they had given up. They clawed and fought, and even though that only resulted in one measly win and a pat on the back, it’s worth plenty in pride points. That’s the currency of champions right there, kids. I can deal with losses, but giving up is another thing entirely.
- Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. That includes, but is certainly not limited to: listening to country music, carrying an unregistered firearm, eating any combination of seafood and Tex-Mex (fish tacos are the devil’s food), drag racing, praising the use of Auto-Tune, being involved in any variety of sex crimes, wearing a V-neck, driving under the influence, enjoying Zoolander, murdering people, attempting to murder people, conspiring to murder people, conspiring to attempt to murder people, etc., etc., etc.
- Remember who you are. This team will have an identity. What that identity will entail exactly…well, beats me. But it’s important that the Mavs play their game, and no one else’s. I’m not saying that the Mavs shouldn’t try to compensate for their weaknesses, but they should do so by bolstering their strengths. So what if the roster lacks a true scorer at center? So what if Jason Terry will play minutes as an undersized two? If those types of problems can’t be fixed through transactions, then don’t try to fix them by hedging losses. Use some creativity, eh? No need to try to run straight through a wall when you can walk around it, climb over it, dig under it, or blow it up with C4.
- First round flame-outs are not acceptable, regardless of match-ups. No coulda, shoulda, wouldas. Mark Cuban’s wallet has taken a considerable beating to field a competitive team, and if the team isn’t competitive, the season can hardly be considered successful. The Mavs need to fight for seeding in the regular season, and execute in the postseason. You know, take care of business. Everyday. And working overtime. WORK OUT!
Sound off, twomangamites. What are your priorities for ’09-’10, and what will it take for the Mavs to have a 2010 summer light on the criticism?