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Power Tankings: The Mavericks move down, but the Suns win the tank wars

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The Mavericks’ loss to the Magic last week improved their odds of a good pick, but no one can catch the Phoenix Suns.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This will be our final edition of Power Tankings, but with every team in the league in action the next three nights and the rankings so close, there’s still a lot of meaningful basketball left to play. MMB will have a final update once the dust settles on Wednesday night, but let’s take a quick look at where our fellow tankers stand and what we can expect this week as the teams look to their final games of the season.

The Bottom Eight

Rank Change Team W L PCT GB DIFF STRK L10
Rank Change Team W L PCT GB DIFF STRK L10
23 up 1 Brooklyn Nets 27 53 0.338 37 -3.8 W2 5-5
24 down 1 Chicago Bulls 27 53 0.338 37 -6.7 L2 3-7
25 none Sacramento Kings 26 54 0.325 38 -7.2 W1 3-7
26 up 1 Orlando Magic 24 56 0.3 40 -4.8 L2 3-7
27 down 1 Dallas Mavericks 24 57 0.296 40.5 -2.7 L3 2-8
28 none Atlanta Hawks 24 57 0.296 40.5 -5.4 W2 3-7
29 none Memphis Grizzlies 22 58 0.275 42 -6 W1 3-7
30 none Phoenix Suns 20 61 0.247 44.5 -9.8 L2 1-9

Where Dallas stands

It seems increasingly likely that the Mavericks will end the year with excellent odds at a top-five pick. Despite an inexplicable win over the Portland Trail Blazers, the Mavs lost an important match against the Orlando Magic, helping them swap places with the Magic to end the week as the fourth-worst team in the NBA.

The Mavericks play their final game tomorrow night against the Suns. That may sound like a tall order for the tanking Mavs (Phoenix is officially the worst team in the league), but Dallas has lost both of its previous games against the Suns this season and Phoenix can’t lose its spot at the bottom (see below). Crazier things have happened...

Standouts this week

Congratulations to the Phoenix Suns, who clinched the best odds for the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft lottery with a loss to the Warriors Sunday night. Most of the remaining teams are still quite close, but in well-defined tiers: the Mavericks, Magic, and Hawks are all within half a game of each other. Above them, the Nets, Bulls, and Kings are separated by just one game. While no one’s going to break out of those tiers, there’s a lot of potential for movement within them between now and Wednesday night.

Tank-on-tank action

In addition to Tuesday nights Mavericks-Suns match, Chicago plays Brooklyn tonight. The rest of the bottom eight will finish their seasons against playoff (or playoff-hopeful) teams.