When speaking to ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s Galloway and Company back in late July Mark Cuban vehemently denounced naysayers of Dirk Nowitzki who said that the Mavs forward's time as an elite player was done. The doubters have fuel based on the fact that Nowitzki had his lowest scoring average since his rookie season in 1998-99 and had to battle back from knee surgery.

"Knock on wood if we stay healthy I think people are just missing Dirk in ways they shouldn't" Cuban said in late July. "Like I've been telling him Karl Malone won an MVP at 35 and there's no reason why he can't be considered in an MVP conversation at 35.”

An indirect way to ensure Nowitzki is cranking on cylinders is to have a John Stockton-like player. Enter Jose Calderon.

“He’s one of the best ball distributors in the game” Cuban said of Calderon during the team’s introductory press conference last week. “He’s going to open up the court.”

The 31-year-old Calderon will be handed the keys to the flow offense. While he doesn’t carry a lot of playoff experience he’s widely regarded as one of the most efficient point guards the league has holding career averages of 10.1 points and 7.2 assists. He’s coming off a season where he split time between Toronto and Detroit and averaged 11.3 points 7.1 assists and just 1.7 turnovers while shooting a league-best .461 percent from 3-point range.

Bringing an influx of basketball IQ to the roster with Calderon should make life easier for Nowitzki.