Mavericks Notes: Carlisle, Starters, Mbenga, D-Will

The Mavericks are one of a handful of teams that get to open training camp early today, since they're headed overseas for part of the preseason. It brings to a close an offseason that was all about Plan B after they were spurned by Deron Williams. GM Donnie Nelson instead went about acquiring players on short-term deals that will allow the team to go after marquee free agents again in the future. The team took a step back last year after winning the championship in 2011, but not everyone believes that will be the case again this season.

  • The additions of O.J. MayoDarren CollisonChris Kaman and Elton Brand might not be splashy, but coach Rick Carlisle thinks they're still enough to allow Dallas to compete for another championship, as Jan Hubbard of writes. Carlisle notes that the Mavs were an underdog when they won the title in 2011, and draws parallels to wild card teams going on playoff runs in other sports. Whether there's any truth to that, or it's just a coach's motivational ploy, remains to be seen.
  • Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes that "by all accounts," newcomers Collison, Mayo and Kaman will join Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion in the starting lineup. Price also says Elton Brand, Dahntay Jones and D.J. Mbenga could also find a way into the rotation. In Mbenga's case, that's a bit surprising, considering he has a non-guaranteed deal and the team would have to let go of a guaranteed contract to keep him for the regular season.
  • Marion isn't bitter that Williams isn't coming to Dallas, and believes his Nets will challenge the Heat atop the Eastern Conference this year, as Price notes. "It is what it is and I wish him the best," Marion said of his would-be teammate. "They’ve got a hell of a team this year in Brooklyn."

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