The Dallas Mavericks are 2-6 to start the new season. It’s too early to write what should be a quality team off, but so far they’re a mess.

Dirk Nowitzki is scoring 22.1 points per game but not shooting well, and not doing much else aside from scoring. Josh Howard is playing decently but also not shooting particularly well. Jason Terry, at 16.6 ppg, is tossing up bricks. The only Maverick playing well and actually making shots is Jason Kidd (11.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 8.4 apg, 47.9% shooting). Gerald Green has also been a nice surprise, scoring 9.4 ppg on good shooting. Erick Dampier is rebounding. Jerry Stackhouse is old and washed up. And Antoine Wright hasn’t impressed. Here’s the Dallas Morning News (Eddie Sefko):

The Mavericks are disjointed. It seems they haven’t figured out anything about coach Rick Carlisle’s system. But the rest of the NBA has certainly figured them out. Put your best defender, whether he’s big or small, on Dirk Nowitzki. Hound him as much as you can. And sooner or later, the Mavericks wilt. It happened for the second consecutive game as the Chicago Bulls hassled Nowitzki into a 5-for-17 shooting night.

Remember, they’re under a new coach, Rick Carlisle. And he deserves the benefit of the doubt. Give the team another two weeks before making a definitive statement about how good they really currently are.

–Jeff