We are only 62 days away from the regular season tipping off for the Dallas Mavericks, so we figured why not collect some of the Mavs Fanatics and do a round table discussion on who we feel are the prime candidates for some of the awards this season.
Best New Addition:
Ryan Wilson: Let me just say this. I hope at the end of the season I’m wrong with my preseason prediction for this award. I would love to say Harrison Barnes, but I’m just not sure yet. With that being said, I think Andrew Bogut is going to be a big time add for the Mavericks this season. Zaza Pachulia played above expectations last season, but the reality is that Bogut is better than Pachulia in literally every category. He can hit the little jumper, protect the rim, and has excellent vision in terms of passing ability. He will be the Mavericks best center since Tyson Chandler, and there is no arguing that whatsoever.
Dalton Trigg: I’ve got to go with Harrison Barnes here. I know Andrew Bogut is going to be a stud, but overall I just feel like Barnes has a lot more potential than any of the other newcomers. I see some other guys like Seth Curry and Quincy Acy being quality pickups also, but Barnes will have the biggest impact.
Nick Angstadt: Best is a relative term and what I consider to be “The Best” is the most entertaining player to watch which has to be Seth Curry. Even if he’s just Steph Curry Lite. Any percentage of the two-time NBA MVP is a good percentage. It goes without saying that Steph has changed the game with his three point shooting and his younger brother brings a lot of the same attributes.
Taimon Turner: I think it goes without saying that the best newcomer for the Dallas Mavericks will be Harrison Barnes. Barnes averaged 11.7 ppg on a 73 win Golden State Warriors team. Barnes was the fourth option on that team. Barnes is the $94 million dollar man for the Dallas Mavericks. Barnes will clearly be the guy who gets most of the touches for the Mavs. Barnes came to Dallas to be “the guy.” He has to prove it is now his team. I think he will.
Best Offensive Player:
Ryan Wilson: With Chandler Parsons departing, and Harrison Barnes working into his new role, I think you will see Wesley Matthews take a big step forward, not only in terms of statistics, but also in regards to his comeback from the Achilles injury he suffered two years ago. I think it took him some time to gain that confidence in his physical ability, which caused his shooting numbers to dip a bit. This season, I think he feels he has a lot to prove in terms of his critics and that huge contract he signed with the Mavericks back in the summer of 2015.
Dalton Trigg: As tempted as I am to go with Dirk, I’m going to go with Wesley Matthews. He averaged 12.5 PPG and played 78 of the 82 regular season games last year only 8 months after tearing his Achilles. To me, that’s unbelievable, and I believe he’s going to light it up this year.
Taimon Turner: The easy answer is Dirk Nowitzki because he has been a legend in Dallas for the last 18 years. He is proven. I think Harrison Barnes takes over as best offensive player this season. Barnes is a proven winner. He won an NBA title in 2015 and won gold for the US in the 2016 olympics. He was solid on both teams but wasn’t the first, second, or third option on either teams. Barnes will have the touches and he is up for the challenge of leading the team in scoring and being the best overall guy offensively for the Mavs. Again, Dirk Nowitzki is the easy answer but after 18 years and at age 38 Dirk cant and should not be the best offensive player anymore. The baton is being passed, it is up for Barnes to take it and run with it.
Nick Angstadt: Sometimes awards predictions fall under the “Should Win the Award” category and sometimes they fall under the “I Hope They Play Well Enough to Win This Award” category. Deron Williams winning this award falls under the latter. See: “Everything That Needs to Go Right for the Mavericks to Win the 2017 NBA Title” Many times last season this team needed an offensive playmaker and someone who could just go out and get buckets. Deron Williams is only a few years removed from doing that on an All-Star level and the “Hope” is that he finds some more of that this season.
Best Defensive Player:
Ryan Wilson: Andrew Bogut. No question about it. While Barnes will be a welcome addition in terms of his ability to defend multiple positions, the team will rely on Bogut to do what he does best: Rebound and defend the paint. That is something that was obvious in Rio when he caused all sorts of problems for Team USA. You can see what type of impact he can have on the court. When he went down in the Finals, I remember telling friends of mine, “The Warriors are in some trouble without Bogut.” It opened up the paint, allowing guys like LeBron James and Kyrie Irving to attack the basket. That is something the Mavericks hope to have all season long, health pending.
Dalton Trigg: Without a doubt in my mind, it’ll be Andrew Bogut. He was the defensive anchor for the Golden State Warriors. I believe the Cleveland Comeback never happens if Bogut doesn’t get injured in that series. If there were any doubts about how he’d recover from that injury, just check out his highlights from the Rio Olympics.
Taimon Turner: The best defensive player will without a doubt be Andrew Bogut. The Golden State Warriors were known for their offensive firepower due to Steph Curry and Klay Thompson being able to sink three pointers. The Warriors were also very good defensively but it was under looked due to their offense. A major reason why their defense was so good and proficient was because Bogut anchored the defense from down low. His presence caused havoc on teams who tried to drive in. His presence was shown greatly in the 2016 NBA Finals when the Warriors went up 3-1 on the Cleveland Cavaliers and he was averaging 2 blocks a game. His presence was greatly missed when he got hurt in game 5 and the Cavaliers completed an historic comeback to win the NBA Finals. The Cavs were able to drive in and control the boards when Bogut’s presence was absent. Bogut causes trouble for offenses who like to drive and get rebounds. Expect Bogut to continue giving opposing offenses that trouble while he is wearing a Mavs uniform.
Nick Angstadt: Again See: “Everything That Needs to Go Right for the Mavericks to Win the 2017 NBA Title” One of the biggest things was Andrew Bogut playing the majority of the season. He’s crucial for this defensive to improve in the way that the Mavs need. Even without playing single minute for the Mavs yet he’s still their best defender.
Ryan Wilson: While some might say Justin Anderson, because of how he finished last season, I’m going to go with another new addition this season: Seth Curry. Like Anderson, people started to see what Curry could do once he was given some minutes. If Rick Carlisle can find a way to insert him into the rotation, I think your going to see some great returns. He is deadly from the perimeter, and has good vision in terms of finding the open man. I can see many pick and pops with him and Nowitzki this season.
Dalton Trigg: There’s a few players that could be considered for this one. JJ Barea is always in the mix, but he’s getting up there in age. I’m torn between Justin Anderson and Seth Curry, but I’m going to roll with Anderson here. I think he’s earned enough of Carlisle’s trust to get a solid rotation spot this year. If all goes right, I could see Curry being a 6th man eventually, but for now I think Anderson will be the biggest spark plug.
Taimon Turner: The easy answer is J.J. Barea because Barea has been the spark plug for the Mavs in years past. As much as I like Barea, I think the spark plug is going down the chain. I think Justin Anderson will fill that role for the Mavs this season. Anderson proved to have a lot of potential in his rookie season with the Mavs. He became a spark plug during the NBA playoffs last season against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Anderson will have two tests to prove this season. He has to prove that despite his youth that he is up for the challenge to fill the role he is in. He also has to prove that he can be a quality backup to Harrison Barnes. Anderson has a lot of energy, I think he proves that challenge. I see him being a strong spark plug similar to how Al Faruq Aminu was for the Mavs in 2015.
Nick Angstadt: During Summer League the loudest player in every gym he entered was Justin Anderson. It was apparent that he was having a good time and tried his best to direct traffic and pump up the rest of his team. Now, Summer League is way different than the actual NBA experience but I think Justin Anderson’s best quality will translate as well as it did in down the stretch and sort of in the playoffs last season.
Bare Knuckle Brawler:
Ryan Wilson: It has to be Quincy Acy. His style of play and his passion on the floor will most definitely cause some confrontation with the opponent. It’s a luxury for Carlisle to be able to throw in a big brut like Acy and really shake things up on the floor at any given time.
Dalton Trigg: Not that we promote fighting here at Mavs Fanatic, but you’ve got to love it when one of your guys isn’t afraid to stick up for themselves or a teammate. I can see it now: DeAndre Jordan cheap shots Dirk under the basket while going for a rebound, then “BAM,” Andrew Bogut comes in strong with a right hook of justice.
Taimon Turner: Personally, I don’t see many fights for the Mavs this season but scuffles do happen and I think the guy most likely to get into a scuffle is J.J Barea. Barea is a fan favorite in Dallas but he can be a pest to his opposition because of his size and toughness. Barea will be a pest on defense to somebody this season and somebody won’t like it very much. (Think Andrew Bynum and Russell Westbrook)
Nick Angstadt: How can this not be Quincy Acy? Remember two years ago during a Christmas day game against the Wizards (on CHRISTMAS) he got into a scuffle with John Wall? John Wall tries a jump stop on the right elbow and Quincy Acy meets him with both arms extended and chaos ensued…for like ten seconds. Then it just turned into a “Hold Me Back Contest.”
The Consummate Pro (A.K.A. Doesn’t play but is a good teammate):
Ryan Wilson: First person that came to mind was none other than the Big German. What more can you ask for when it comes to a consummate pro? If you look up the definition of consummate, you will find things like: complete or perfect, being of the highest or most extreme degree, extremely skilled and accomplished, etc. Do I need to go any further? Okay fine. All this guy wants to do is win. It’s one thing to say it. It’s a whole different animal when it comes to doing it.
Dalton Trigg: If you had asked me last year, I would have said Charlie V. I think this one could be a toss-up between Quincy Acy and Dwight Powell. Although we have a logjam at Point Guard, I think Curry will show enough to get sprinkled into the rotation. The backup Power Forward position is up for grabs yet again. I’d like to think Powell has improved enough to keep a rotation spot, but I’m just not sure.
Taimon Turner: I hope I am wrong on this prediction because I like the guy I’m about to say but I am going with Seth Curry. I think Curry has a lot of potential but he is in a tough spot with the Mavs. Rick Carlisle has him behind Deron Williams, J.J. Barea, and Devon Harris. Carlisle is known for not playing young players. His father, Del Curry was a nice guy and a good teammate. His brother Steph Curry, the two time MVP is a great teammate and a nice guy. Seth may be in a tough spot but because of his upbringing I see him being a nice guy and a good supportive teammate. I hope he gets his shot.
Nick Angstadt: Another obvious answer. He wears 41, but someone that doesn’t play a lot but is a good teammate in my opinion is going to be Jonathan Gibson. Another guy I saw during Summer League, J-Gib (Is that going to catch on? J-Buckets? We’ll keep workshopping that…) has shown that he is willing to do what it takes to make this team. That mentality should translate in the NBA and his drive should inspire everyone.
Ryan Wilson: Nowitzki is always the candidate for MVP when it comes to our Dallas Mavericks, but this season, I think you will see a different name emerge. I really do feel like Wesley Matthews is ready to take his play to a new level. Not only was the injury taxing on him early on, I also feel like he was still getting his feet with this squad. When it comes to the Mavericks roster turnover each year, if you make it to year two on the team, you can consider yourself a big time player on the squad. I think Matthews is comfortable and ready to prove the skeptics, including Tim MacMahon wrong.
Dalton Trigg: As always, it’ll be the GOAT himself, Dirk Nowitzki. At this point in his career, you’d like to have someone else be the team MVP to take the pressure off of him, but it is what it is. I think he’ll have some competition from a resurgent Wes Matthews for who leads the team in points, but overall Dirk will be the most consistent player Dallas has. Who else would you want to have the ball with the game on the line?
Taimon Turner: The easy answer is Dirk Nowitzki. Dirk will certainly still be the face of the Dallas Mavericks but I believe that this is the year that Harrison Barnes has his coming out party. The NBA Champion and US Gold winning olympian wants to prove that he is a superstar in this league. How good will Barnes be? That remains to be seen, but I think he has a lot of upside and potential at age 24. I do not believe he will be the second coming of Chandler Parsons.
Nick Angstadt: A guy that usually gets left out of the national conversation as “Best At His Position” is Rick Carlisle, but we all know where he belongs. He’s had one losing season in his 14 years as a head coach (In 06-07 his Pacers went 35-47). Carlisle’s ability to take a constantly changing roster and flip it into some sort of success is definitely deserving of an MVP (Most Valuable Personnel) nod.
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