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Ranking the Rankings, Week 6: So close, yet so far away

With their win over the Blazers, the Mavs move firmly into "almost top tier" status.

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a weird few days here in the Metroplex. "Icemageddon" has had me mostly stuck in my apartment since Thursday night, with only my dog, League Pass and Twitter to keep me entertained. I'm a little stir crazy, but let's face it, that doesn't sound like a bad deal.

And it certainly hasn't been a bad deal for the Mavs this week. They've managed to string together some nice road wins, and make a nice move up in most power rankings this week. Let's get to it.

The Rankings


Some observations

  • I found it really interesting how so many "almost top tier" teams -- Clippers, Nuggets and Warriors, for example -- moved down while the Mavericks moved up. Realize however, that the Dubs and Clips are both missing players due to injury who will eventually come back. You always hate to see injuries, but no reason the Mavs can't get themselves a little cushion in the meantime.
  • I'm sure that win over the Trail Blazers made a huge impression, and for good reason -- a lot of rankers put the Blazers in first even considering that loss. The Mavs will have to continue to find ways to win against those top teams. They're doing a more than fair job of it at the moment. Whether it's sustainable is anyone's guess.
  • The Lakers have Kobe back now, and we Mavs fans know better than most that it can take a while for your superstar to fit back into an offense that's been mostly clicking. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Lakers fall a little in coming weeks, but then come back to challenge the Mavs et al for that 7-8 spot.
  • Almost as intriguing, in a morbid kind of way, is that race to the bottom. The Magic have made a strong move in that race this week. The 76ers, bless their hearts, are encountering a little resistance in getting there.
  • The "I Have No Idea" Award this week goes to the Grizzlies, who rankers really want to put higher in some cases. The Pistons and Celtics are also doing a nice job of moving up. Brad Stevens must be really magical in Boston -- such a slow start and a fast move back up for that team.


Though their defense comes and goes, Monta Ellis' game-winner in Portland on Saturday basically announced the Mavs as a team to be dealt with in the Western Conference. And though Ellis hit the big shot, it was one of Dirk Nowitzki's best offensive performances of the season. In fact, it was the first time he's recorded at least 25 points and seven assists since the Mavs' championship.


He wasn't exactly struggling before, but Dirk Nowitzki has been uber sharp over the last four games. With their main man averaging 24.3 PPG on 53 percent shooting in that span and Monta Ellis throwing in buzzer-beaters, Dallas found some road success after painful L's in Denver and Atlanta.

CBS Sports:

Rick Carlisle knows how to get a team to buy in, no matter the limitations.

Sports Illustrated:

The Mavericks are playing some of the best basketball in the league, but they're a center short of being considered a top-tier team. It might be worth calling Houston to see what the asking price is for Omer Asik, who would seem to be a perfect fit next to Dirk Nowitzki and the team's bevy of shooters.