Merry Christmas Eve, Mavs Moneyball readers! We love you dearly. Because we love you, here is your weekly dose of power rankings. Keep in mind that these rankings do not reflect last night's win over the Rockets -- which should certainly help matters next week.
Let's get to it...
- I honestly expected the Mavs to fall a little more than they did. Good for the rankers to (mostly) realize that the Mavs are (probably) a little consistent defense away from being very dangerous.
- Unlike previous weeks, it seems nobody could really agree on a number one team -- those are all over the place, with several teams getting votes. The top five or six teams have stayed consistent, however, in some order. Seems like that will be a very tough group to crack into.
- You did it Philly! You made it to the bottom!
- A few teams who have an interesting difference in rankings to me: the Lakers and the Kings. It's not that the rankings are inconsistent, it's just that rankers seem to either like them or dislike them based on nothing but feel. In my opinion, the Kings have some exciting pieces that merit the higher end of that ranking. The Lakers are interesting, but unless again-injured Kobe comes back and saves their season, their ceiling is probably about right here, and I think those ranking them lower are probably more correct.
- Nobody quite knows what to do with the Raptors. The Mavs know that feeling after this past week.
Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki start every game together and have played about the same number of minutes. Yet one is a minus-100 and the other is a plus-138. Nowitzki's obviously the better player, but that discrepancy is kind of crazy. The Mavs have outscored their opponents by 16.0 points per 100 possessions in 309 minutes with Jae Crowder and Nowitzki on the floor together.
Not much has gone right since that signature win at Portland on Dec. 7. Samuel Dalembert is suddenly losing minutes to both DeJuan Blair and Brandan Wright, while the Mavs' porous D, after failing to hold nice leads at Atlanta and Golden State, just let a fat cushion slip at home to Toronto.
They seem like a better-than-.500 team, but their efficiency differential is less than a point. I need to see more of them before I can figure out what they are.