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Intensity, experience key to a successful Maverick season

As the Dallas Mavericks start off their 2010-11 season tonight, fans should expect great things from this franchise. In a league full of superstar-powered teams like the Lakers, Heat and Celtics, too many people have written off the franchises that don’t have a LeBron, Kobe or even a Kevin Garnett in their lineup. This year, the Mavs will show that superstars pale in comparison to a team that has the will and capability to fight.

To start off, the Dallas Mavericks have the best bench rotation in the NBA. Head coach Rick Carlisle has been blessed with some of the most versatile, talented playmakers in the game. He’s going to be able to attack opponents with a wide variety of lineups. Jason Kidd, Rodrigue Beaubois, Jose Barea and Jason Terry can all play both guard positions. Caron Butler and Shawn Marion can both switch up in either of the forward positions and Dirk Nowitzki can play the power forward or center. Throw in big-men Brendan Haywood and Tyson Chandler, both of whom are more than seven feet tall, and the Mavericks have the deepest, most interchangeable lineup in the league.

Beyond the lineup rotation, this Dallas club is stacked with veteran leadership. Nowitzki, Jason Terry and Kidd all have NBA Finals experience. Players like Marion, Chandler and Butler have all played deep into the postseason before.

What’s even more impressive about these veterans is the fact that they are still producing results. Last year Kidd, Nowitzki, Terry and Marion combined to average 63.9 points, 21.5 rebounds and 17 assists a game.

Nowitzki, in particular, has been and will continue to be, the biggest factor in the Mavericks’ success. He’s a nine-time All-Star, 10 time All-NBA selection, the 2006-07 NBA MVP and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

Last year, Nowitzki averaged 25 points and 7.7 rebounds per game while shooting 48 percent from the field, 42 percent from three-point range and over 90 percent from the free throw line. He has the experience, the talent and the teammates to make a serious run at a title this year.

All else aside, the Mavericks will be a contender based on their sheer desperation to win.

The veterans on the Mavericks squad know that their prime playing years are nearing their expiration date. In every game this season, expect Dallas to play their hearts out to their physical limits. For Kidd, Marion and Nowitzki, a cry of “do-or-die” will be shouted in every single match up. When they play with the intensity they are capable of, there will be few teams, if any, that can compete with Dallas.

If Dallas plays with their skill, deep bench and passion, expect a great season and an even better postseason run.

J.D. Moore is a freshman journalism major from Honolulu, Hawaii.

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