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Power Rankings: the Mavericks' Western Conference problem

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The Mavericks are struggling against other strong Western Conference teams. Is this a problem?

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

This week's power rankings have the Mavs everywhere from fourth to eleventh, with concerns raised about Rajon Rondo's lack of offensive contributions and Dallas' record against other Western Conference play-off teams, including a frustrating loss to the Clippers (these rankings were compiled before last night's win over Sacramento).

So what do you think? Are Rondo's defensive contributions being overlooked in these criticisms of his offense? As ESPN pointed out, the 2011 Mavericks had a similarly bad record against playoff teams and went on to win the title. Is concern about their record against the best of the West warranted?

Let us know in the comments! And as always, click on the "what they said" link to read the full power rankings for each site.

SB Nation

This Week: 4 Last Week: 4

What they said:

The Mavericks hit a bit of a snag against the Clippers in a 20-point loss. Rajon Rondo went 1-for-11 from the field and didn't stop Chris Paul enough (17 points, 13 assists) to make up for his poor shooting. It's still a growing process, but nights like that shouldn't be overlooked, especially against playoff opponents.

Yahoo! Sports

This Week: 6 Last Week: 5

What they said:

Franchise saddened by the death of Roy Tarpley, who had the skills to be a Hall of Fame big man before drugs and alcohol destroyed his career.

CBS Sports

This Week: 11 Last Week: 6

What they said:

Stunning stat that Jeff Caplan of Fox Sports Southwest shared with me: The Mavericks are 1-8 vs. Western Conference playoff teams. That's not a good sign. They had a similar resume last season and didn't make it out of the first round.

ESPN

This Week: 9 Last Week: 5

What they said:

Cause for concern? The Mavs aren't quite sure. They're 1-8 against the rest of the West's top eight, which certainly doesn't sound good, but six of those eight losses were on the road. Also: Dirk & Co. were 3-12 against the West's top eight after Jan. 1, 2011 ... during their title-winning season.

Sports Illustrated

This Week: 8 Last Week: 5

What they said:

Awkward: Dallas' offense has been noticeably better with Rajon Rondo off the floor (115.6 offensive rating) than on it (105.7). Rondo's ball-dominant days are a thing of the past with the Mavs and the point guard is being asked to shoot more than ever (12.7 FGA per game) despite his suspect shot (39.3 percent).