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Can Dallas repeat? Yes, but the path will be harder.

Jun 15, 2011, 2:12 PM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat - Game Six Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks are basking in the glow of their first ever championship — taking part in a championship parade, going to the bathroom with the Larry O’Brien trophy and getting arrested. You know, all the good stuff.

But the question has already come up — can they do it again.

The Mavericks think so. Although, not sure what else you expect them to say (“No, we only wanted the one, we’re good now”). They said as much to the Star-Telegram.

“Our plan is to get the same crew back and let’s take another run at it,” Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson said. “In an ideal world this team would come back and we’d make another run.”

To make any kind of run the Mavericks first are going to have to bring back Tyson Chandler and Caron Butler — Chandler is their defensive anchor and Butler may be coming off knee surgery but he was their second best player. Their starting five with him in the lineup was statistically the best five-man lineup in the league. Also, they want to bring back J.J. Barea. Whether to bring back Peja Stojakovic and DeShawn Stevenson are other questions. Whatever it takes, we know Mark Cuban will spend it if it improves the team.

Even if Dallas can get the band back together, they are going to find that the path to a repeat is far more challenging than winning the first. The Mavericks flew under the radar this season, even during the playoffs. Next season, the target is on their back from day one. Playing with that is different. The Mavs are a veteran team, but this will still be a new experience.

Another challenge to a repeat will be the obstacles in the way.

Oklahoma City made it to the conference finals with all their core players under the age of 22 — they are learning and they are going to come back better. They will have Kendrick Perkins for an entire training camp to integrate him. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are still improving. Their front office makes smart additions and probably will again this summer. They will be better.

The Lakers will see changes but still will have Kobe Bryant and a long and skilled front line. They are still a serious threat. Then there are plenty of other good teams out West like the Spurs and Trail Blazers that will not make getting back to the finals easy.

Then if they do get back to the finals, the Miami Heat will be better (you think they’re bringing Mike Bibby back as a starter?), and the Chicago Bulls could pose a real challenge.

Dallas is good, but they will need to be better to repeat. With a largely veteran team coming back, can they do that? After watching them the last two months, I wouldn’t bet against them.

  1. randysavage4ever - Jun 15, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    not with the average age of your team being 35…

    the mavs run was a nice story, now they will fade into irrelevancy…

    you cant beat father time – he is undefeated…

    UNLESS – Cuban makes some bold moves to bring some younger pieces around Dirk to load up for a few more runs…

    HOWEVER – With the hiring of Mike Brown the Lakers surely DECREASED their chances of getting back to the title round…

    so I dunno maybe a new team in the West

    • edweird0 - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:19 PM

      Dont be a hater, Dirks got AT LEAST 5 more good years in him. He’ll deff win another championship, hopefully it won’t be at the expense of the Heat again…

      • randysavage4ever - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:23 PM

        dirks got at least 5 years left – true

        SO DOES KOBE BRYANT, kevin durant, tim duncan, etc…

        and he wont DEFF win another ‘ship, he might, but nothing is promised…

        and i love dirk – met the guy – coolest guy…but dang I do HATE Cuban – I’ll admit that!

      • edweird0 - Jun 15, 2011 at 8:13 PM

        Woah. First of all, Durant’s 22. Hes got AT BARE MINIMUM a decade and a half left in him. Tim Duncan has nothing left in his tank so your comparisons are very skewed. If Cuban keeps on spending money like he has been then you best believe hes gunna be able to buy another great set of role players somewhere down the line that’ll give him another run at a championship.

  2. sprest83 - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    Alot of people don’t realize that if the Mavs bring back Butler, Chandler, and Barea, they will have easily the deepest team in the league. I could see Stevenson and Peja gone. The Mavs have some good young talent that will get alot more playing time next year. Roddy B. and Brewer are both expected to have larger roles next year.

    • slopmcflop - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:57 PM

      Really surprised Roddy B struggled the way he did coming back from his injury. He WAS the Mavs offense during stretches of the playoffs last year. Give the guy a full year to recover, and you got yourself a lethal weapon coming off the bench. And Brewer can hit an open look and be a menace defensively on the perimeter. Brewer = Stevenson and Roddy B = JJ, so I could see those two departing via free agency. Cuban was right, this team’s depth won them the championship.

      • sprest83 - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:01 PM

        I think Roddy struggled because everyone put a ton of pressure on him to succeed. I do think he will have a better year with a training camp under his belt.

        I don’t want to lose Barea, he is very important for the bench. Stevenson and Peja can easily be replaced with Roddy and Brewer.

  3. nadermayoub - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    Something to also consider is that with the new players agreement coming up, Dallas, like every NBA team will probably have an amnesty clause to waive one player from its books, pay the contract, but avoid the luxury tax penalty. Dallas did this with Finley, and it allows every nba team to save on big contract obligation against it salary cap, even if it means paying Finley to play for the competitve Spurs. Dallas may waive Haywood under amnesty clause, and look sign another backup center for half the cost. The kicker is that Miami may sign up Haywood, as Riley was trying to get him last summer.. which in the end Cuban may be paying Haywood to play in Miami, just to avoid the luxury tax. Cuban has to think about paying players, their contracts, and luxury tax just to keep them from going to other teams. Players like Butler and Haywood.

  4. zblott - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    A look at what adjustments the West’s top 5 contenders for next year, including the Mavs, need to make:

  5. worldbfree4me - Jun 15, 2011 at 9:22 PM

    Vegas is already taking bets that the Mavs fail to make it back to the finals next year. A $10 bet with get you a $1000! I’m about to put up $2000!!!

  6. mistercharitystripe34 - Jun 15, 2011 at 11:28 PM

    It’s incredibly difficult to make two straight Finals, let alone repeat. The Spurs were a dynasty and never made the Finals twice in a row. I wouldn’t be shocked if Dallas or Miami both lose in the playoffs next season.

  7. watermelon1 - Jun 16, 2011 at 7:11 AM

    Chandler was horrible, and it’s only being overlooked because the Mavs ended up winning. If the Heat had any actual PF or Center… Gasket would have been exposed even worse than he was!

    The Mavs would be smart to bring back Stevenson, as he’s affordable and can hit open shots while playing great defense.

    Peja offers nothing on defense and very little on offense.

    Get another big body to match with Haywood and is Butler is back… This team is ready to roll. Corey Brewer is underrated and only going to get better playing with these guys.

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