Dallas Mavericks LogoWith the current roster the Dallas Mavericks might reach the playoffs, but they’re far from making a deep postseason run. At the start of the summer the future looked promising for the Mavs, but failing to capitalize on several possible signings frustrated the ambitions of owner Mark Cuban.

The Mavericks failed to come through in the free agent market and their “big signing” ended up being Harrison Barnes, which is far less than what they need to meet Cuban’s aspirations of making the playoffs and contending.

Once again, the team’s face will be German veteran Dirk Nowitzki. The leadership and experience of the 38-year-old is undisputable, but skill wise his best days are far behind and therefore he can’t continue to be the franchise player of a team that expects to fight for a spot in the NBA Finals. Despite his age, the Mavs gave Nowitzki a new two-year $50 million deal, showing that team executives still trust the German to lead them to the promised land.

Barnes also got a good deal from the Mavericks as he is earning $94,5 million over the the next four seasons. Barnes will have to prove he’s worthy of that kind of money and capable of being a go to guy of the Mavericks something he never had to be while playing for the Golden State Warriors.

Experience wise Rick Carlisle will have no problem as several of his veterans have plenty of it. If the team starts to lose, the leadership of players such as Deron Williams, Devin Harris and the recently signed Andrew Bogut can help them right the ship before it’s too late.

However, the Mavs will struggle against powerful teams that have more solid rosters and are talented in all their lines, such as Golden State, Cleveland, San Antonio, Boston and Los Angeles Clippers.

The Mavs defense should improve thanks to Bogut’s blocking skills (1.6 blocks per game), but defense alone will not be enough to hide the shortcomings the Mavericks still have in other areas such as offensive power and bench depth (something that is a big deal when your team has so many veterans in it).

Overall the Mavericks should win about 45 games and struggle to make the playoffs as a seventh or eighth seed. If their bench is better than expected and injuries are kind to them they might accomplish that, but otherwise they’ll go home early.