We already know that the Dallas Mavericks are the oldest team in the NBA, boasting a mature average of 30.3 years and a starting lineup that averages 32.8 years (and Delonte West, 28, lowered that when he took over for 34-year-old Vince Carter).
But what about the tallest team in the NBA? Yes, it appears that Dallas, with its recent signing of 7-foot Chinese center Yi Jianlian, can also claim this distinction (if not in total feet and inches, which they might, than in total number of tall players). Seven -- virtually half of the Mavs' 15-man roster -- stand 6-10 or taller. Dallas is the rare team with three 7-footers (Yi, Dirk Nowitzki and Brendan Haywood), plus 6-11 center Ian Mahinmi and three 6-10 forwards and/or centers in Lamar Odom, Brandan Wright and Sean Williams.
Dallas has already shown a lineup that includes Odom, Nowitzki and Mahinmi, or darn near 21 feet of front-line players.
The league average for the number of players 6-10 or taller on a team is 4.2.
Four teams -- the New York Knicks, thanks to the addition of 7-1 center Tyson Chandler, the Orlando Magic (with five players at 6-10), the Washington Wizards and the Minnesota Timberwolves -- all have six.
Six teams, including tonight's opponent, the Detroit Pistons, have five, six have three, 11 teams -- including the entire Pacific Division -- have four, but just one team stands the tallest with seven.
What does it all mean? Probably not a whole lot. Three of the Mavs' tallest players -- Yi, Williams and Wright -- are role players at best at the moment. Williams is playing for the Mavs' D-League affiliate. Wright has seen limited action of late and Yi could see his first action tonight.
However, the addition of Odom, who is still trying to find his footing in Dallas, does give Mavs coach Rick Carlisle intriguing versatility, such as using Odom to bring the ball up the floor and initiate the offense. And Haywood and Mahinmi are showing to be a nicer-than-expected combo at center. Williams and Wright do provide additional bodies to use in the middle in case of foul trouble.
So, take it for what it's worth. The Mavs have a lot of tall guys.