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Mavericks Appear in Good Shape to Reload

AP

In none of the four major North American sports is it easier to repeat as champion than in the NBA. Over the past 25 years, in both hockey and baseball, there have been just three repeat champions. In the NFL, there have been four. In that same period, the NBA has seen 10 champions defend their titles.

So when the defending champs go down the way the Dallas Mavericks did in the first round of this year’s playoffs—in a sweep to the Oklahoma City Thunder—it’s a little baffling, even though we were all prepared for this outcome after witnessing the approach the front office took in the offseason and the way the team played in the regular season. Dallas had three major free agents (Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler and J.J. Barea), and lost all three....

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