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Weekly NBA Power Rankings: Cuban, Dwight And An Early Playoff Exit

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The Dallas Mavericks might have the toughest schedule during the upcoming weeks. First there is the 9 in 12 stretch starting today against the New Jersey Nets and on March 17th another brutal stretch of nine consecutive games against playoff teams, including three consecutive games against Texas rivals (Rockets twice) and a back-2-back set in Florida against the Heat and Magic, will begin. Here's your overview going into the second half of the season:

NBA.com - John Schuhmann: 6th

A stat: The Mavs have the No. 27 offense (97.5 points per 100 possessions) and No. 1 defense (95.3) in February.
A question: Will the Mavs ever hit their stride offensively?
A prediction: Either Lamar Odom or Jason Kidd might actually shoot 40 percent in the second half, but the Mavs will exit the playoffs early.

SheridanHoops.com - Chris Sheridan: 7th

Had a nice chat recently with Mark Cuban, who has been checking out SheridanHoops from time to time but says he is too busy in regular season to read anything regularly. He is of the belief that most journalism is trash, and I am out to convince him and everyone else that it doesn’t have to be that way. Once upon a time, he just wanted to hear IU games on the radio, and look where it got him. Me? I have exhausted my patience for assholes in positions of power. We’ll see where it gets me.

NBC - Kurt Helin: 5th

Don’t expect them to make a big trade as the deadline comes up, unless someone wants Shawn Marion. But, if Dwight Howard is still in Orlando on March 16 the Mavericks may be poised to be the big winners this summer.

ESPN - Marc Stein: 6th

Leave it to the tireless @mavstats on Twitter to do the math and figure out that the daunting stretch coming out of the All-Star break for the creaky ol' champs, featuring nine games in 12 days, is something only four other teams will endure in this lockout-shortened season: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte and Chicago.

ESPN - John Holinger's Metric: 5th

Teamrankings.com - Power Ratings: 6th

HoopsStats.com - Efficiency Differential: 6th

MavsMoneyball - j0Shi's Schedule Adjusted Efficiencies: 12th