I was kind of busy this week, so here is your (delayed, but extended) update on the Power Rankings. The Mavericks finished last week 1-3 and the analysts are not impressed:
John Schuhmann - NBA.com: 15th
Brandan Wright has been a revelation in short bursts, but the Mavs have lost three of their last four, struggling offensively once again. We might have to consider the possibility of the defending champs missing the playoffs. After they host the Kings Tuesday, they head west for a critical four-game trip.
Even Cubes realizes Mavs are running out of time to turn on the defending champions' switch. And Nowitzki and Carlisle both turn off questions about Odom. Still can get it going, but this is getting very dicey.
Last thing they wanted to do was to pay LO off and watch him trot back to L.A., sign with the local teams and watch him go back to being Lamar Odom against them.
Only win last week was vs. a Grizzlies team on final night of back-to-back-to-back, and Memphis got revenge Saturday. "We’re now eighth or ninth, so we’ve got to fight," said Dirk Nowitzki, overstating things a bit (they are 7th). Imperative that they go 3-0 in an easy week, cuz 5 of last 6 are against high-quality opponents. Own tiebreakers over Jazz, Nuggets and Suns.
The Mavericks are not even close to 2007 Miami bad and no one will ever touch the 1999 Bulls, but this is probably a bottom five NBA champion afterglow season. Let's just hope they make the playoffs.
Kurt Helin - PBT: 12th
Lamar Odom is gone and that’s the smart move by the organization, but he was not the root of all they offensive and defensive problems. This is not the title contender they were last year, a deal Cuban made before the season to get cap space.
This Lamar Odom thing was so weird. I’ve thought all year long that once he got to the playoffs with this team, he’d have all of his offseason issues worked out and he’d be back in game shape. I don’t fault him for coming into this season out of shape and not ready to be in such a new environment. I understand the life he’s had and what he went through this past offseason and can assume how hard it is for him to adjust to that. But after everything that has come out over the last two days with him leaving the team and the alleged blowup with Cuban, I just don’t know what to think anymore.
If only divorcing Odom solved all of the champs' problems. They were down to No. 7 in the West as of Monday morning thanks to an offense still sputtering beyond recognition -- bordering on unwatchable when J-Kidd is out -- and 9-11 in the games (five points or less) so relished in Carlisle's first three seasons (55-22).
MavsMoneyball - j0Shi's Schedule Adjusted Efficiencies: 16th