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January 3, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Tim MacMahon

Tim MacMahon
  (2:59 PM)

Appreciate you joining me to chat about the 2-4 defending NBA champions. Fire away.

Khan (Karachi)

Hi Tim. So far, it seems Lamar Odom isn't playing up to his potential. Do you think his play will improve?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:01 PM)

Lamar Odom's play has to improve. It starts with his conditioning, which is why Rick Carlisle has Odom on a program above and beyond what anybody else on the team is doing. Odom's performance in last night's win over the Thunder offered some positive signs. You saw him effectively play point forward for the second unit. He gave the Mavs 21 solid minutes. But, for the Mavs to defend their title, Odom is going to have to be great. Pretty good won't be good enough. What we've seen so far from him certainly won't cut it.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think that the Dallas Mavericks will repeat as NBA Champions with their 2011-2012 Team?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:03 PM)

I wouldn't bet on it, but I learned the hard way last season not to rule this team out. We really won't have a feel for how good this team can be for another month or so. I consider OKC the favorite in the West, but the Mavs have the Thunder's number. "It's a big brother-little brother scenario," Jason Terry said today, and he's right. I do think the Heat will be tough for anybody to beat in the Finals.

nate keyman (sioux falls)

tim it's mark owner/gm with mavs like jerry with the cowboys.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:04 PM)

Cuban is more involved in personnel decisions than any other owner in the NBA, but not to the extent that Jerry Jones is with the Cowboys. Jerry makes all the decisions. Cuban signs off on the basketball decisions Donnie Nelson makes. There's a big difference there.

John (Germany)

Is Cuban trying to make a trade during the season to get one of the top free agents (Howard, Deron) or is he so confident about getting them in the off-season that he is trying to keep is valuable pieces in Dallas?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:06 PM)

The Mavericks don't have the assets to land a superstar in the trade market this season. It's not a matter of whether Cuban is confident he can land one of those guys in free agency. It's that free agency is their only legit shot to get Howard or Williams. Having said that, if Howard doesn't get traded to the Nets, you have to really like the Mavs' chances of getting a co-superstar to pair with Dirk Nowitzki next season.

Jim (Dallas)

Hi Tim, would you say Haywood is just not very good, lazy, or just fine and mavs fans are overreacting comparing him to an obviously better Chandler? Thanks.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:08 PM)

I would describe Brendan Haywood as an adequate starting center who needs to be more consistent. He's played very well in their two wins. The Mavs need that every night from him. The Tyson Chandler oomparison is a tough one for Haywood. He isn't that type of athlete or leader, but I do think he's good enough to be the starting center on a contender. It's not like there are a bunch of dominant centers roaming the paint in the NBA these days.

Mexico (Jaime)

What is the weakest aspect the mavs need to work on?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:11 PM)

Rebounding stands out the most to me. The Mavs rank 27th in the NBA in rebounding differential at minus-7.83 boards per game. That's not going to cut it. This should be a solid rebounding team. That's a pretty strong indication that there have been some effort/conditioning issues for the Mavs early this season. It was especially awful against the T-Wolves.

Michael (Berlin)

Hey Tim, why are the Mavs getting Yi? He's playing more PF than C and the Mavs frontcourt is pretty loaded already ..

Tim MacMahon
  (3:12 PM)

It's a no-risk chance on a young guy who was a high lottery pick. I wouldn't expect to see him to make a major impact this season. Well, unless you want to drive to Frisco. He might be the Texas Legends' MVP. By the way, it's probably not a coincidence that the dude who co-owns the Legends with Donnie Nelson is Chinese.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:15 PM)

Appreciate all the questions. Make sure you're checking out the ESPNDallas.com Mavs blog on a daily basis.