The Dallas Mavericks are just one game above .500 (8-7), and have clearly struggled with all the new faces on the roster this season, but according to owner Mark Cuban this is a better squad than the one that won the NBA title last year. Reports the Star-Telegram: “Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban appeared on ESPN’s ‘NBA Countdown’ on Wednesday before the network’s doubleheader that included the Mavericks’ loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. He talked about the Mavericks’ slow start to the regular season not changing the goal of winning another title and said he believes this Mavericks team can be better than last season’s NBA champions: ‘We’ve just got to make the playoffs, that’s all I really care about. Honestly, I was telling people if we’re 10-10 I’ll be thrilled to death. And if we were 5-15, I wouldn’t have been shocked, because you can’t just walk into a season and be ready, particularly if you’re a team that bases its defense on precision and team defense, and its offense off ball movement. If you’re young, your legs are always in shape, and if you’re an athlete, and you just run by people and jump over people. I think that’s why you saw the more athletic teams get off to great starts and the more ‘team’ teams struggle a little bit. I’m always win now, but you don’t destroy the future. I think you can do both, and that’s what we’ve tried to do. Yeah, we’ve lost some great players, and yet at the same time we kept a lot of good players, we kept Dirk, JKidd, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, so we lost … but kept basically our top four. So by adding Vince Carter, by adding Lamar Odom, by adding Delonte West, I think literally we can be, I think we are a better team.’”