Dallas

Mavericks

Survey data collected from team site writers and editors.

7.9

Out of 10

I trust in management and the coaching staff

7.3

Out of 10

I enjoy rooting for these players and this franchise

9.4

Out of 10

I am optimistic about the direction of the team

A Q&A with Rebecca Lawson of SB Nation’s Mavericks site Mavs Moneyball.

What needs to happen for this to be an enjoyable season for Mavericks fans?

The team needs to play hard and develop. As Dallas retools for life after Dirk Nowitzki, good performances from guys like Dennis Smith Jr., Nerlens Noel, and Harrison Barnes will alleviate stress about the future.

Also, a handful of throwback Dirk games, please and thank you.

Dallas Mavericks
Position Starters Bench
Guards Dennis Smith Jr. Seth Curry (injured) Yogi Ferrell J.J. Barea Devin Harris
Wings Harrison Barnes Wesley Matthews Dorian Finney-Smith
Bigs Dirk Nowitzki Nerlens Noel Dwight Powell Salah Mejri Josh McRoberts Maxi Kleber

What makes Mavericks fans most excited about this year? What makes Mavericks fans most nervous?

We’re most excited for the Dennis Smith Jr. Show. Dallas hasn't had a rookie with this much promise in a long time, and he's already generating Rookie of the Year buzz after his Summer League performance.

As for most nervous? Mavs fans are praying to the basketball gods that Dirk stays healthy and can finish his career the way he wants and deserves.

What storyline might a national audience be missing about the Mavericks?

Quietly lost in the Dennis Smith Jr. hype is that the Mavs had two pretty talented guards last year: Yogi Ferrell and Seth Curry. As Smith is learning his role, we'll also be watching to see if Yogi can take another step and if the younger Curry can earn a big payday in a contract year, once he recovers from a leg injury.

Why should neutrals pay attention to the Mavericks this year?

Two words: Dirk Nowitzki. He's one of the last greats of his generation still at it, and he still goes at it pretty well most nights. Watch and marvel.

What's your prediction for the season?

36-46, 11th in the Western Conference. The Mavs will be a fun team and pull off the occasional upset, but in the end they're still rebuilding.