Oct 7, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) watches his team take on the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at the American Airlines Center. The Pelicans defeated the Mavericks 94-92. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Will Dallas Mavericks play enough defense to compete in Western Conference?

More than likely, the Dallas Mavericks will put up plenty of points to win games. However, they will need to slow teams down to be in the playoff picture in the Western Conference, and that is the question surrounding the roster that Mark Cuban has built.

With gifted passer Jose Calderon running the point paired up with trigger-happy Monta Ellis in the backcourt, as well as Dirk Nowitzki still on the court for Dallas, the question of whether or not their defense will match up is fair. With efficient offenses such as the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors out west, it remains to be seen how the Mavericks will match up.

Dallas also added intriguing offensive talents Shane Larkin and Ricky Ledo via the NBA Draft. How they fit into the equation on Rick Carlisle’s squad is still unknown. Shawn Marion and Samuel Dalembert are the two lone true defensive presences on the roster. Marion has always been a versatile defender, but what remains in the tank for the veteran is a huge concern. Dalembert will get his fair share of blocks, but he may be asked to protect the rim more than ever before with defensive liabilities Calderon and Ellis seeing much of the action on the perimeter.


Tags: Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki Jose Calderon Mark Cuban Monta Ellis NBA Rick Carlisle Samuel Dalembert Shawn Marion

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