1. Dallas Mavericks

2010-11 Record: 57-25 (Won NBA Finals over Miami, 4-2)
Key Returning Players: Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Jason Kidd
Key Additions: Lamar Odom, Vince Carter
Key Losses: Tyson Chandler
This Week: vs. Miami, Sunday (12/25); vs. Denver, Monday (12/26); @ Oklahoma City, Thursday (12/29); vs. Toronto, Friday (12/30); @ Minnesota, Sunday (1/1)

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing your 2007 NBA All-Stars: At forward, Shawn Marion; at the other forward, Dirk Nowitzki, at guard, Vince Carter; and at the other guard, Jason Kidd. So it's not 2007, but we're telling you the Mavs, with their aforementioned collection of Bush-era All-Stars are the best in the NBA right now? Yup. On general principle they get the top spot to start the season because they did the damn thing last June (and then took their talents and comically large magnums of champagne to South Beach to celebrate). But here's how they just might do it again this year: Coach Rick Carlisle finds a way to optimize Carter's talents (and minimize his substantial weaknesses) in limited minutes, Kidd and new acquisition Lamar Odom go old school on the newbies, and Dirk and the Jet reprise their Batman and Robin act from last year's playoffs. A tall order, sure, especially given the loss of defensive enforcer Tyson Chandler. But look on the bright side Mavs fans: You may have lost some toughness with the departures of Chandler and Deshawn Stevenson, but you got a lot of crazy back with the arrival of Delonte West. —Jack Erwin