Every Monday, various NBA coverage sites post Power Rankings based on team performance with an emphasis on the last week of action. We’ll provide a short rundown each week of where the Mavericks are slotted in these, beginning with the third iteration of these rankings, released early Monday morning.
These rankings are the opinions of a single or small group of analysts, so it’s okay to disagree with their takes. That being said, in the aggregate they can provide a good metric of how the league views the Mavericks overall.
So how did the Mavericks fare this week? Surprise, surprise, it was not great. The losses to the Bulls and Hornets last week, and how those games exposed some of the most pressing issues with the Maverick offense and defense, took Dallas firmly out of top-10 contention across all publications.
Here’s where they sit currently:
Last week: 12
Luka Doncic is only beginning to warm up in what’s sure to be an MVP-caliber season for the third-year pro. Kristaps Porzingis’ likely return in January should only bolster Doncic’s production.
Last week: 9
Last season’s top-ranked offense is off to a slow start. In fact, the Mavs already been held under a point per possession as many times (3) as they were all of last season. They’re once again in the top three in the percentage of their shots that have come from 3-point range (45.5%), but they’re dead last in 3-point percentage (30.7%), with Dorian Finney-Smith (8-for-39, 27%) and Luka Doncic (5-for-31, 16%) ranking 92nd and 98th among 99 individuals with at least 25 attempts. With Doncic nursing a bruised quad on Sunday, replacement starter Jalen Brunson scored 31 points in Chicago, but didn’t get much help from a group that’s heavily dependent on its 21-year-old star.
Last week: 12
Luka Doncic hasn’t looked like an MVP candidate in the opening weeks of the season. Doncic is playing his way into shape after clearly not making the same offseason commitment to conditioning as he did after his rookie season and during the hiatus before the bubble. “My legs are really tired, but that’s no excuse,” Doncic said after a poor performance in a blowout loss to the Hornets, after which he immediately shot for 40 minutes on the arena floor.
Last week: 12
How does a team follow up a 51-point victory? It probably should not be with a 19-point loss, but that is just what the Dallas Mavericks did. The offense has struggled after having the highest offensive rating last season. Right now their rating is 106.3, and Luka Doncic has to take some of the blame for the struggles because he’s shooting just 16.1 percent from three. He missed their game against the Bulls and may miss more with a bruised quad.
Last week: 15
Luka Doncic is shooting 16.1 percent from 3-point range. Clearly he can’t shoot and the Mavs are doomed. If only they had a unicorn to save them...
Last week: 16
The Mavs lost two of three games this week, the last to the Bulls without Luka Doncic Sunday. The other loss was an ugly one to the Hornets, but the win was solid over the Heat on New Year’s Day. Dallas’ offense hasn’t gotten off the ground due to the absence of Kristaps Porzingis and Doncic’s relative struggles to begin the year, but they’ll likely get there eventually. Jalen Brunson was phenomenal filling in for Doncic, putting up 31 points, seven assists and five rebounds on 11-of-17 shooting in Sunday’s loss to the Bulls.
Check in next week for an update. Let’s hope the Mavericks can start to trend in the opposite direction. The Mavericks got an impressive road win against the Rockets Monday night, and will be looking to build on that momentum.