Commentary

Dallas unlikely to repeat as champs

Season or no season, Mavs still have age, free agency against them

Originally Published: October 13, 2011
By Tom Haberstroh | ESPN Insider
Dallas MavericksRonald Martinez/Getty ImagesTyson Chandler was crucial to Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd getting their first championship.

With the lockout negotiations coming to a screeching halt earlier this week, prompting two of five experts in a recent ESPN.com panel to predict zero games will be played this season, it's time to get real. If we're being realistic, there's a chance that this entire season will be sacrificed. So that begs the question: If the season is canceled, would we have missed a Dallas Mavericks repeat?

Due to a number of factors facing the Mavericks, indications are we probably would not have. And even if there is a season, the odds are long they will repeat.

To be sure, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has to be worried. It's true, the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks just watched his team take down the mighty Miami Heat for the 2010-11 championship, so how down could he really be? On one hand, he's sitting prettier than anyone in the league right now with a shiny Larry O'Brien Trophy attached to his hip. But on the other hand, his team stands the most to lose during a potential layoff, and not just because big trees fall hard.

Why? Let's start with this: They're going gray. This was the oldest team in the NBA last season, posting the highest minutes-weighted average age in NBA last season at 30.9 years old. No, a walking cane didn't seem to slow them down on their title quest, but it also doesn't negate the fact that their contention window is closing fast.