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NBA power rankings roundup: Mavs move up ahead of tough slate this week

Can they maintain their ranking while slogging through this stretch?

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

This week's rankings roundup show a slight uptick, with NBC Sports putting the Mavs as high as 8(!) and no site that we look at for this having them lower than 12. Wins this past week vs. the Timberwolves, (shorthanded) vs. the Pelicans, and in OT vs. the Kings may not be the most impressive things, but they are both good and consistent with who the Mavs have been this season.

Many comments below note the brutal schedule this week, and as we saw with last night's loss in OT to the Cavs (not reflected in these rankings) and probable resting of starters tonight vs. OKC (ugh), I can already see next week being a slight downtick. Oh well. Maybe they'll steal a game here or there to maintain some of their rank?

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!

ESPN

This week: 11  Last week: 11

What they said:

One area where the West is definitely not down: West coaches still face the usual glut of worthy frontcourt contenders for All-Star berths. Dare we say that Dirk Nowitzki is one of the prime troublemakers, too, averaging nearly 18 points and 7 boards in 30.7 MPG, still the best player, at 37, for a team three or four slots higher in the standings than anyone expected.

CBS Sports

This week: 10   Last week: 11

What they said:

Cavs. Thunder. Bulls. Spurs. Celtics. Alright, Dallas. Let's see what you're made of. (Spoiler: it's mostly hydrogen and carbon like all living beings.) The Mavs are clearly a good team, and this will give them an opportunity to show if they're dangerous on top of being consistently good.

NBA.com

This week: 12  Last week: 13

What they said:

The Mavs have won seven of their last 10 games, but continue to play mediocre defense and allow bad teams to hang around. Over those 10 games, they've needed overtime to beat Brooklyn and Sacramento (on Deron Williams' game-winner), while losing to New Orleans and Milwaukee. Now they have a brutal, five-games-in-seven days stretch where all five opponents are over .500 with top-11 defenses.

Sports Illustrated

This week: 10   Last week: 12

What they said:

The Mavericks built themselves a little cushion before what might be the most brutal week any team will have all season: Cavs at home, at Thunder the next night, at Bulls on Friday and at Spurs Sunday. Hang in there, Dirk.

USA Today

This week: 10  Last week: 11

What they said:

They're fourth in league in 3-point shooting and trending up

NBC Sports

This week: 8   Last week: 11

What they said:

When we're talking about the things Dallas did right to build this surprisingly good team, make sure to put "got a lot of high IQ players" way up on the list. Then ignore the JaVale McGee signing. Brutal schedule this week: Cleveland, at Oklahoma City, at Chicago, at San Antonio.