DALLAS – They’re not even hearing any whispers. From all indications, the Dallas Mavericks have heard – very loud and very clear -- that they have no chance of making the playoffs this season.
The Mavs keep hearing it from whatever publication they read, whatever TV station they turn to, and whatever radio station they listen to. The dreadful news has put the Mavs into an "us against the world’’ mode where they believe the naysayers have totally disrespected them.
"We have a lot to prove, which I think is a great thing,’’ small forward Chandler Parsons said. "Everyone’s writing us off.
"Nobody respects us this year.’’
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Part of the reason the doubters have come out in full force is because the Mavs appear to be in transition. Power forward Dirk Nowitzki is 37 years old and moving closer to retirement, shooting guard Wesley Matthews and Parsons are coming off surgery, point guard Deron Williams is trying to jump-start his career following two sub-par injury-riddled seasons, and center JaVale McGee has played just 28 out of a possible 164 games over the past two years due to a lingering stress fracture in his left tibia.
"With me and Wes coming off surgery and him getting a big contract and Deron Williams having a lot to prove with everything that happened to him in Brooklyn and McGee getting hurt and Dirk being so old, everyone’s not even talking about the Mavs, which is good,’’ Parsons said. "Now we have motivation.
"With the makeup of our roster and our guys, we have a lot of humble, hungry guys with a chip on their shoulder ready to prove everybody wrong.’’
The only time the Mavs haven’t qualified for the playoffs since missing out on the postseason in 2000 was in 2013. With the Western Conference very stacked again, the pundits believe the Mavs have too many question marks to be a playoff participant this season.
"We hear it, we see it, just like all of you guys,’’ Parsons said. "We shouldn’t need extra motivation at this level.
"But if there is any, we have a whole bunch of it.’’