Ball Don't Lie - NBA

Want a bold statement necklace? Check out this chunky twisted-silver-luxe-necklace.

Want just a bold statement? Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban believes his team is as good — nay, better — than the one that went to the NBA Finals in 2006.

The Dallas Observer and Dallas Basketball spill Cuban's blue and green Kool Aid:

"The feeling and the buzz in our locker room is off the charts, literally the best it's been in a good five years," Cuban told Richie Whitt and Newy Scruggs on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas Tuesday morning. (Note: Mavericks talk starts about a quarter of the way in.)

"Every guy here that was a part of that Finals run thinks we have a much better team. It's not even close. If you compare rosters we're a far better team than that Finals team. We're deeper. More athletic. Defensively and offensively we have more flexibility. This year it's like 'Oh my goodness.' Guys are fired up. It's a whole different feeling. I'm excited."

He wasn't kidding.

"Trust me, Mavs fans," Cuban warns at the end of the interview. "If we stay healthy, this is a good, good, team. I never make predictions. But our top 12 guys are off-the-charts compared to where we've been in the past."

While I don't doubt this year's Mavs are more talented (on paper, at least) than the '06 version — quickly, '09-10 team: Dirk, Josh Howard(notes), Terry, Kidd, Marion, Gooden, Quinton Ross(notes), JJ Barea, Dampier vs. '06 Finals team: Dirk, Josh, JET, Stackhouse, Marquis Daniels(notes), Devin Harris(notes), Diop, Van Horn — Cuban forgets to mention that the rest of West has gotten better over the years too. Much, much better.

In '06 it was the Spurs, Suns and Mavs. That's basically it.

Today, it's the Lakers, Spurs, Nuggets, Jazz, Blazers, Rockets, Hornets, Mavs and, well, maybe the Suns.

Has Dallas done enough to contend for the title once again? I'm not convinced. But what do you think?

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