The Dallas Mavericks have skidded into January after a disastrous December, and the web's NBA writers have accordingly sent them sliding in the power rankings.
The Mavs went just 5-10 in the month of December, concluding with a wretched six-game losing streak that featured an average margin of defeat of 17.5 points. Head coach Rick Carlisle has expressed real frustration with the situation, saying that he's already screamed at multiple players and won't rule out suspending those who don't live up to their responsibilities. Star forward Dirk Nowitzki has returned to the lineup, but he's scored only 30 cumulative points in his four games while averaging 21.8 minutes.
SI.com writer Matt Dollinger keeps the Mavericks steady at 21st in his latest set of power rankings. Kurt Helin of NBC Sports' ProBasketballTalk is less optimistic, dumping the Mavs one spot to 25th in his roundup. Matt Moore over at CBS Sports/Eye on Basketball slides Dallas down a slot to 24th this week. ESPN's Marc Stein drops the Mavs three rungs to 24th as he surveys the league. The Hollinger Rankings at ESPN are the least excited about Dallas, with the Mavericks occupying the 28th slot in the algorithm.