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Power Tankings: The Mavericks hold steady, despite their wins

Fortunately for the Mavericks’ lottery odds, they weren’t the only team to improve last week.

Dallas Mavericks v New York Knicks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Welcome back to Power Tankings, your weekly lottery team update! There’s been remarkably little change in the rankings since last week, at least at the very bottom. The Magic swapped spots with the Hawks, and the Suns “overtook” the Grizzlies for last place thanks to Memphis finally snapping its losing streak (beating a team fighting for a playoff spot, naturally) and the Suns extending theirs to eight.

We were also forced to expand the ranks, welcoming the crashing New York Knicks into the fold. They’re only 2-18 since January and are breathing down the Bulls’ necks from just half a game away.

The Bottom Eight (Plus)

Rank Change Team W L PCT GB DIFF STRK L10
Rank Change Team W L PCT GB DIFF STRK L10
22 N/A New York Knicks 25 45 0.357 30.5 -3.5 W1 1-9
23 none Chicago Bulls 24 45 0.348 31 -5.9 L1 4-6
24 none Sacramento Kings (e) 23 48 0.324 33 -7.5 L1 5-5
25 none Dallas Mavericks (e) 22 48 0.314 33.5 -2.4 L2 4-6
26 none Brooklyn Nets (e) 22 48 0.314 33.5 -4.2 W1 3-7
27 up 1 Orlando Magic (e) 21 49 0.3 34.5 -4.7 L1 3-7
28 down 1 Atlanta Hawks (e) 20 50 0.286 35.5 -5.2 L6 2-8
29 up 1 Memphis Grizzlies (e) 19 50 0.275 36 -5.3 W1 1-9
30 down 1 Phoenix Suns (e) 19 52 0.268 37 -9.5 L8 1-9

Where Dallas stands

No movement for Dallas this week. However, Dallas is one of a number of these teams that are seemingly unable to decide what it is they’re trying to do. They’ve won four of their last six games and took the number-one-in-the-East Toronto Raptors to overtime, where the Mavericks lost a close one. But while they’ve very likely created too much space to truly compete with the likes of the Suns and the Grizzlies for most favorable lottery odds, some of their fellow tankers have adopted (discarded?) the same strategy.

The Mavericks have a tough week ahead, though, visiting the New Orleans Pelicans tomorrow before hosting the Utah Jazz on Thursday.

Standouts this week

This week was characterized by an unusual amount of winning. Every team’s record over the last 10 games improved except the Suns’, which stayed the same. The Bulls, like the Mavericks, have won four of their last 10, and the Kings have a very un-tank-like .500 record over that same span, including an improbable victory over Golden State on Friday.

But because winning seems to have been something of a collective decision, no teams made big moves this week. The Hawks and Magic had the same record last week, but swapped places this week; ditto the Suns and Grizzlies. But the tiers that began to emerge last week have not changed.

Given Chicago’s inability to lose even when they’re trying their best, and the way the Knicks’ final stretch of the season is going, we may see a swap between those two teams this week. They face off tonight at 7:30.

Tank-on-tank action

We’ll see these teams face off a bit more frequently than last week. In addition to Bulls at Knicks tonight, we have Memphis in Brooklyn. Thursday the Hawks visit Sacramento, and the Magic will host the Suns on Saturday.