The Dallas Mavericks in 2005-06

As the following posts indicate, Dirk Nowitzki and The Dallas Mavericks were discussed in some detail last June.

Yglesias and the Least Valuable MVP

Myth and Measurement after Game Three of the NBA Finals

Thoughts After Game Four: The Dallas Mavericks Story

Four Thoughts on Game Five

Given these previous comments, let’s quickly review HERE what the Mavericks looked like last year and then briefly discuss the moves this team made in the off-season.

Not surprisingly, last season Dallas was led in Wins Produced by Dirk Nowitzki. For his career Nowitzki has already produced 100 wins in the regular season, and last year he was the only Dallas player to reach double figures in Wins Produced

(Wins Produced is discussed in the following posts).

Simple Models of Player Performance

Wins Produced vs. Win Score

What Wins Produced Says and What It Does Not Say

Although Nowitzki is one of the league’s best – last year only eight NBA players produced more – he is not a one-man team. In fact, no NBA team had more players eclipse the 0.100 mark — or the average mark — in Wins Produced per 48 minutes. The list of above average performers included Erick Dampier, Josh Howard, Jason Terry, Adrian Griffin, Marquis Daniels, DeSagana Diop, and Devin Harris. In fact, of the players who played 1,000 minutes last year, only Jerry Stackhouse and Keith Van Horn were below average.

This summer, though, Daniels and Griffin left. Fortunately the team added Austin Croshere, Devean George, Anthony Johnson, and Greg Buckner. Croshere and Buckner were above average last season while George and Johnson were both quite close to the average mark – Johnson a little above, George a bit below. In other words, despite a few departures, it appears the Mavericks have simply re-loaded for another run at their first NBA championship. The team still has a major star in Nowitzki and an ample supply of above average talent.

So the Dallas story is pretty easy to follow. The leading scorer is indeed the most productive. The team is successful because in addition to having an elite player, the team has also acquired a number of very productive complements.

The next story will be the Denver Nuggets. As we will see, the most productive player on the Nuggets has not been its leading scorer. But in Japan this past summer there was a suggestion that maybe this might change in 2006-07.

– DJ