I'm running out of ways to say "the Mavs are average until proven otherwise" in this column, but that's pretty much been the consensus from week to week in the rankings. Things steady out amongst the rankings even more this week, with every ranker I looked at putting the Mavericks squarely at 13 or 14. (USA Today did not publish rankings this week, at least as of this writing.)
This week, the comments ranged from "appreciate Dirk" to "hey, Chandler Parsons is getting a little better!" to "whoa, some nice production from JaVale?" As always, you can read the full ranks for any site by clicking "what they said." Let us know what you think of their thoughts and ranks in the comments!
This week: 14 Last week: 14
Although Dirk Nowitzki has slipped some from his early 50/40/90 pace, Dallas wouldn't dare quibble with what it's getting from its ageless King of the One-Legged Stepback. The Mavs also awoke Monday as one of just seven teams with a winning record on the road, alongside Golden State, San Antonio, Toronto, Atlanta, Boston and Minnesota.
This week: 13 Last week: 17
Two somewhat good wins vs. the Suns and Grizzlies gives them two of their past three. I keep hammering the point about how balanced their schedule is, and it continues. They've got tough matchups vs. the Raptors, Bulls, Warriors and Heat, in the next 10 days, but in the middle get the Nets and Bucks. That helps to keep teams balanced and prevent losing slides. You still have to beat the teams you should, but the Mavericks are keeping themselves in playoff contention by doing just that. That's not a knock, but when the Grizzlies or Knicks is your best win since November 20th, it's hard to get too excited.
This week: 14 Last week: 13
The Mavs are getting something out of Raymond Felton this season, Chandler Parsons had two of his best games of the season last week, and JaVale McGee even had a productive 18 minutes in Friday's win over the Grizzlies. But the Mavs are just 6-8 over the last month and, after Wednesday's 26-point loss in Indiana, 4-5 against the opposite conference, with five of their next six games against the East.
This week: 13 Last week: 12
Let's check in with future Hall-of-Famer Dirk Nowitzki, who at age 37 is averaging 17 points on 48.1% shooting and seven rebounds, with all of his percentages up from last season. He's leading the Mavs in scoring, has them in solid position in the standings, and he's 30 points away from passing Shaq in career points. Appreciate all of this, please.
This week: 13 Last week: 14
They went 2-1 last week with wins against West foes Phoenix and Memphis, and you know things are going well when you get a quality, productive game out of JaVale McGee. Dallas is at Toronto and Brooklyn this week, but they have a winning record on the road.