2012 NBA power rankings: Dallas Mavericks fall as defense struggles

David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

The Dallas Mavericks have put up the points, but it's their defense that caused them to fall in this week's NBA power rankings.

Rick Carlisle's Dallas Mavericks have surprisingly been able to put the ball in the bucket without the injured Dirk Nowitzki, but they find themselves with a 7-7 record because the defense isn't getting it done. Because of that, the Mavericks fell from No. 15 to No. 19 in SB Nation's Week 5 NBA power rankings compiled by Seth Rosenthal.

According to Rosenthal:

They don't win games these days unless they can crack 100 points. At least they're doing that with some frequency, including their explosive win at home against the Knicks on Wednesday. O.J. Mayo hasn't really lost steam yet and Vince Carter has been quietly, sickeningly picking up his productivity as well.

The Los Angeles Lakers' new offense tore up the Dallas defense in a 115-89 loss for the Mavericks on Saturday as Mayo struggled from the field and scored only 13 points.

Dallas had a solid victory against a very good New York Knicks team this week, but also fell in overtime to the Golden State Warriors. Mayo, an offseason free agent acquisition, scored 27 points in each of those games for the Mavericks, who are scoring the sixth-most points per game in the NBA. At the same time, Carlisle's team is 27th in points allowed per game and 21st in defensive rating.

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