After a down year due to injuries, Wesley Matthews is ready to be one of the leaders of the Dallas Mavericks as they try to become one of the top contenders in the Western Conference.
With a tough field in the West, the Mavericks are not guaranteed of a playoff spot. However, Matthews said in an interview that he is positive that Dallas will make some noise in the 2016-2017 NBA Season and that other teams should not take the Mavs for granted.
“I’m excited for it, and I’m excited for the moves that we made. You know, it didn’t look too good to start, but there’s a lot of promise,” Matthews told Earl K. Sneed of mavs.com.
“I think there’s a lot of buzz amongst the team and a lot of edge coming back, and maybe that’s mostly me. But that’s OK.”
Matthews is referring to the Mavericks free agency moves. This summer, Dallas lost Chandler Parsons to the Memphis Grizzlies but gained Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut and Seth Curry.
Barnes was given a max deal and there are speculations and buzz in Dallas that he can be a franchise player while Bogut was acquired in a trade with the Golden State Warriors. Curry, the brother of superstar MVP Stephen Curry, has also shown he can be a starter while he played with the Sacramento Kings last season.
Dallas Mavericks rumors this offseason saw them being linked to free agents Hassan Whiteside and Kevin Durant but they had to settle with Barnes and others for their offseason. The Mavericks will also be getting back the face of their franchise in Dirk Nowitzki and he has some gas let in his tank.
Matthews has not guaranteed a playoff spot in his statement but he’s positive they can challenge the likes of the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers and Grizzlies, who are all pegged to be playoff contenders.
The Dallas Mavericks will likely battle the likes of the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz, Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans, among others, for playoff spots in the West.
Matthews averaged 12.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game last year for Dallas. But that was after his surgery and it was clear he was not 100% in most games.
In the same interview, Matthews also promised that he’s a “whole different” person and player and that he just wants to continue to grow even if he’s coming from a major surgery (Achilles).
“I don’t care who we’re playing against, who it is, what number back-to-back it is, if it’s on the road, what the record was, or the team we’re playing. We don’t care, and we’re coming at you,” the Dallas Mavericks star warned other NBA teams.