Ever the optimist, owner Mark Cuban believes this year’s Mavs team has some of the same characteristics as the squad that won the 2011 NBA title.

“The willingness to move the ball — I think that made a huge difference in [2011],” Cuban said. “We pushed the ball to the open passer as opposed to just putting it on the floor, and I think you see a lot of the same similarities here. And I think that’s what fits well with Rick’s offense.”

While there are no members of the media picking the Mavs to win this season’s NBA championship, Cuban knows none of them picked Dallas to win it all in 2011, either.

Cuban also noted that of the eight Western Conference teams that advanced to the playoffs last year, three of them — Memphis, Denver and the Los Angeles Clippers — have new coaches this season.

Reported by Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram