Scout doubts Mavs as legit title contender
"I see them as the Orlando of the West right now. Could they knock the Thunder off in Round 2? Sure. They could pull that off. But to battle through three rounds to get back to the Finals? I have my doubts.
"They're dangerous, don't get me wrong. They did win the championship last year. But I just haven't seen the support for Dirk [Nowitzki] and [Jason] Terry. There's a lot of pressure on those guys to perform. If they're a little bit off, Dallas starts to look ordinary.
"Rick [Carlisle] has them very, very well prepared defensively. They haven't missed a beat without Tyson Chandler and that's a real credit to the players and the coaching staff. I [also] really like the way Rick puts his players in position to make plays. He's an outstanding half-court coach. But I haven't seen the same hunger [as last season]. I don't think there's enough gas left in the tank. Dirk and Terry need some help.
"I thought [Lamar] Odom would be helping more by now. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but he just doesn't look interested. Early on you could understand that there was some adjustment involved. And he seems like a pretty sensitive guy. But he just hasn't turned the corner. Whether it's because he's got other priorities in his life or the transition [from the Lakers to Dallas] has been too much, he doesn't look fully invested in the program."
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
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Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.
Play Podcast Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.
Play Podcast Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.
Play Podcast ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
Play Podcast Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.
Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.