Hello beautiful people! It's your weekly dose of power rankings. This week, the Mavs have fallen a little bit. That is sad, as they've been on a steady climb/at least not moving down for most of the season. However, some reasons for optimism from our rankers and from me below. These rankings DO reflect the Pistons game from Sunday, in case you were wondering. (Because of Monday games lately, that has not been the case in recent weeks.)
Read on. To the numbers...
- It's not so much about the Mavs falling this week (though it's a little about that -- those blown leads hurt) as it is about the Grizzlies moving up. With Marc Gasol back, they're a force again. Then again, if Devin Harris continues to shine...
- That said, that eight spot really appears to be the Mavs' to lose. So, I guess I'm upping my wine budget. As Dirk and Carlisle always say in these postgame comments, they're going to be fighting until the bitter end.
- What the HELL Clippers? Can you just be a LITTLE not good with CP3 out and Darren Collison subbing in? Come on. (Please click that link. Please.)
- The Nets are the collective rankings darlings this week, having had the biggest move up. Thanks a lot, some guy named Mirza Teletovic.
- Meanwhile, the Magic continue their valiant attempts to dethrone the Bucks in the power tankings. Look at those adorable little Lakers trying to catch up though! (Please don't catch up, Lakers.)
Dirk Nowitzki had been struggling of late, but the big German bounced back in a victory over the Pistons, scoring 28 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Even at age 35, Nowitzki is still performing at a high level, with shooting percentages above his career marks.
I still see Phoenix as more likely to drop out of the top eight than Dallas in spite of the Suns' more favorable average nightly point margin (plus-3.1 to the Mavs' plus-1.4). Fact is, though, no one in the West's top nine has a worse record against .500-or-better teams than the Mavs' 9-15 mark.
They're in the bottom 10 in defense, but their offense simply cannot stop hitting its mark. They've got a death grip on that playoff spot right now.
The Mavs may have already made their big addition for the stretch run before the trade deadline. Devin Harris, who made his season debut Jan. 18 in his return from toe surgery, scored 14 points in back-to-back games off the bench last week. The former All-Star could be a valuable, versatile third guard behind Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon.