Fantasy Basketball 2010-2011 Team Preview: Dallas Mavericks (9/18/10)

Mark Cuban is determined to win a title, but his time is running short and the window may close soon.   The Mavericks have all the major pieces back from last season’s 55-27 club and should be able to approach 55 wins again this year.  Jason Kidd will start at point guard, but he will be sharing minutes once Rodrigue Beaubois gets healthy.  I’ve seen some rumors that Caron Butler will be starting at shooting guard with Shawn Marion moving into the starting small forward spot.    Of course Dirk Nowitzki will start at power forward.  Brendan Haywood and Tyson Chandler will platoon at center.  If all that talent weren’t enough, the Mavericks have Jason Terry and J. J. Barea coming off the bench.  It should be a good year in Dallas.  

Projected Fantasy Depth Chart
PG:  Jason Kidd, Rodrigue Beaubois, J.J. Barea
SG:  Caron Butler, Jason Terry, Deshawn Stevenson
SF:  Shawn Marion
PF:  Dirk Nowitzki, Alexis Ajinca
C:  Brendan Haywood, Tyson Chandler, Ian Mahinmi

The Mavericks just lost Tim Thomas and they are going to have to find some depth at small forward until Butler can slide back into the spot.  Rodrigue Beaubois probably qualifies more as a shooting guard, but he is pure offense, so he’ll likely get switched out for Jason Kidd and that is why I have him listed in the PG depth slot.

2009 Team Stats
Pace:   #17, 92.5 (avg. 92.7
Offensive Rating:  #10, 109.2 (107.6)
Defensive Rating:  #12, 106.3 (avg. 107.6)
Team eFG%:   #13, 50.6 (50.1)
Offensive Rebounding:  #26, 24.3 (avg. 26.3)
Defensive Rebounding:  #15, 73.7 (avg. 73.7)
Opponent’s eFG%:   #14, 49.5 (avg. 50.1)
Points Per Game:   #11, 102.0 (avg. 100.4)

The Mavericks don’t blow you away in any single category, but they don’t really have any weaknesses either.    If I had to pick a category to improve it would probably be rebounding.  Getting Brendan Haywood signed and bringing in Tyson Chandler should help bolster that category.


Playing Time and Usage Rates
Usage rate illustrates a player’s involvement in the team’s offense.  Fantasy players need opportunity to be on the court and have the ball in their hands.
Player (2009 MPG)                  Usage Rate  (2009/Career)
Kidd  (36.0)                                   14.5/20.1
Beaubois (12.5)                            24.7/24.7
Terry (33.0)                                 23.0/22.5
Butler (34.0)                                22.3/22.6
Marion (31.8)                                 18.1/21.1
Nowitzki (37.5)                               28.8/27.0
Haywood (26.5)                              14.0/14.6
Chandler (22.8)                            14.0/14.0

Kidd has fallen to a below average usage rate in the last couple of years since he isn’t asked to be a scorer anymore.  With Rodrigue Beaubois in the mix, I don’t expect Kidd’s usage rate to get over 16.0.    Beaubois has the ability to be way more involved in the Mavericks offensive scheme when he is in the game.  Shawn Marion has also seen his usage rate fall below his career average and I think it could fall even more this year if Butler moves back to small forward.  Caron Butler saw a big decrease in his minutes with the move from Washington to Dallas and that will probably continue this year.  I think he’s being asked to do more on defense and his offensive output will probably decline with his minutes.  Nowitzki is clearly the primary offensive option for Dallas and I think he’ll probably achieve a usage rate of at least his career average.  Haywood and Chandler aren’t offensive players and the role of the center in the offense really isn’t affected with either guy in the game.


Shooting Ability and Shot Location
Player            Career eFG%         Career 3PT           Jumper/Inside
Kidd                     46.1               1.4/4.0 (34.9%)           87/13
Beaubois            59.4                .8/2.0 (40.9%)            63/37
Terry                 51.4                 1.7/4.5 (38.2%)           85/15
Butler                 46.1                .6/1.8 (31.2%)               72/28
Marion              51.1                  .8/2.4 (33.5%)             42/58
Nowitzki           50.9                1.2/3.2 (38.0%)            83/17
Haywood         53.2                          0/0                        17/83
Chandler           55.7                         0/0                        13/87

Jason Kidd has evolved into strictly a three point shooter, but his percentage from that range has gotten pretty good.  While his career number may look weak, his recent success tells a different story.  Roddy Beaubois put up a huge number in the eFG% category, but can he do it for an entire year over a large sample size?  Caron Butler continues to be a weak shooter and he might find his opportunities limited as the Mavericks defer to more efficient options.  Dirk Nowitzk is an excellent shooter from the PF spot.  Haywood and Chandler will both turn in decent numbers with all their opportunities near the basket.

Beaubois, Terry and Nowitzki are the three point threats on the team and having them all on the court at the same time could be a real headache for opponents.

Player                 Off/Def/Total
Kidd                      4.3/16.2/10.2
Beaubois             2.0/10.7/6.4
Terry                   1.5/7.7/4.7
Butler                  5.3/13.9/9.5
Marion               7.8/21.2/14.6
Nowitzki            3.9/22.1/13.1
Haywood           12.7/17.2/14.9
Chandler            12.8/23.9/18.3

Jason Kidd is one of the best rebounding point guards in the league and that is a huge bonus if you like to build your fantasy team around rebounds.  Caron Butler has a decent number for a shooting guard, but it looks weaker if he’s putting up those numbers from the small forward spot.  Nowitzki is an excellent defensive rebounder, but he’s weak on the offensive glass because he’s always playing the perimeter on offense.   Haywood and Chandler are both excellent rebounders.

PG:  Jason Kidd used to be an elite defender, but age is catching up with him.  Beaubois has the energy to play some pretty decent defense and his speed allows him to stay with some of the quicker point guards in the league.
SG:  Butler will be asked to step up his defensive effort this season and hopefully he can be average.
SF:  Shawn Marion is a tough defender and has the ability to play good perimeter defense.
PF:  Dirk is strictly an offensive player and doesn’t provide much defense.
C:  Haywood and Chandler make a very tough defensive combination.

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