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NBA power rankings roundup: Mavericks slide back to mediocrity

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A rough slate before the All-Star break sees a little step down.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a few weeks, but power rankings are back!

The Mavs have had a bit of a rough patch in the rankings. Although they are still firmly in the playoff race, that rough stretch of games before the All-Star break has really hurt them. Last I did this column, they were in or pushing top 10 in most rankings, now they're a little more firmly in the middle of the pack. Disregarding the game vs. the Thunder tonight, hopefully an easier schedule going forward will help matters.

This week, rankers liked what they're seeing from Deron Williams and are intrigued by David Lee as the Mavs' newest reclamation project, among other things. As always, you can read the full rankings for each site by clicking on "what they said," and let us know what you think about the rankings in the comments!

ESPN

This week: 16  Last week: 14

What they said:

How much of a difference can David Lee make? How worrisome is the Mavs' negative point different (and Memphis' for that matter) when two chief rivals for one of the last playoff spots in the West (Portland and Utah) boast positive readings? And can Dallas follow up a 1-5 slide by taking advantage of the season's most favorable stretch of schedule? All valid questions in Big D.

CBS Sports

This week: 16   Last week: 16

What they said:

Dallas is a near-lock to make the playoffs despite last summer's DeAndre Jordan debacle, which is a credit to the team, coaches and front office. The Mavs' schedule is gelato over the next month before a tough closing stretch, and they beat teams they should.

NBA.com

This week: 16  Last week: 15

What they said:

Though Deron Williams was generally a disappointment in Brookyln, he played more like an All-Star after the All-Star break over the last few years. That trend looks like it might continue, with Williams totaling 40 points on 13-for-26 shooting in his first two games after the break. It will be interesting to see if Rick Carlisle plays David Lee and Dirk Nowitzki together and, if he does, how bad the Mavs' defense is in those minutes.

Sports Illustrated

This week: 12   Last week: 14

What they said:

David Lee will become the Mavs' newest reclamation project as they continue on course for their seventh postseason berth in Rick Carlisle's eight years and 15th in the franchise's last 16. Lee will have a chance to get settled and sample the barbecue as Dallas gets eight of its next nine games at home.

USA Today

This week: 12  Last week: 11

What they said:

Despite setting a franchise record with 19 3-pointers vs. Orlando, the Mavs lost for the fifth time in six games.

NBC Sports

This week: 15  Last week: 15

What they said:

They added David Lee off waivers, and he should get a little run as a backup five for Rick Carlisle. Deron Williams has looked good in Dallas' couple games since the All-Star break, but he gets a real test with Russell Westbrook and the Thunder this week.