After Thursday night’s 104-102 loss to the Thunder, Mavericks fans are undoubtedly feeling a bit uneasy. The season has just begun, but the defending NBA champions have lost their first three games and look like a completely different team than the one that beat the Heat in the Finals last summer. That’s because they are. The Mavs lost Tyson Chandler, J.J. Barea, and Caron Butler in free agency. They added veteran Vince Carter but that certainly won’t help with their lack of youth. Dallas may make a run at Deron Williams and Dwight Howard next season, but their chances of a repeat this season look grim.
Jason Terry, however, does not seem concerned. In fact, it may have annoyed him a bit when Chandler — now a member of the Knicks — said he saw the Mavericks’ struggles coming this year.
“Our five men were active,” Terry said according to the Dallas Morning News. “Everybody’s talking about Tyson being gone, but the way (our big men) played tonight, we’ll forget about Tyson real soon.”
Terry is referring to the play of centers Brendan Haywood and Ian Mahinmi, who combined for 15 points and seven rebounds and threw down several dunks on the interior Thursday night. Still, that combined stat line is one that Chandler is more than capable of putting together himself, and I’m sure Terry knows that.
The early struggles of Lamar Odom have also hurt the Mavs. Odom is likely still getting used to playing for a new team in a new city after becoming so comfortable in Los Angeles. Terry insists that Odom will “get into a rythm” and be fine going forward.
Chandler’s comments probably rubbed a lot of his former teammates the wrong way, but he was right. Anyone who looked at the Mavericks roster going into last off-season could see that they weren’t exactly set up perfectly for another run. As a veteran in the locker room, it is Terry’s job to keep the team’s confidence level up and not let guys pack it in when things aren’t going well. If Dallas’ struggles continue, his job will get more difficult with each game