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NBA Power Rankings: Mavs Continue To Climb Up The Charts

Forgive me for borrowing a music term, but I didn't really know how else to describe the Mavericks rapid ascension toward the top of the NBA's Power Rankings at SB Nation. After enduring a rough stretch while Dirk Nowitzki was injured, the Mavs have turned things around, and are now trending in the right direction again. They now rank as the fifth best team in the NBA.

Heading into Monday's action, Dallas had five lineups that had played more than 100 minutes together this season. The best, unfortunately, featured Caron Butler. The next best unit has Shawn Marion at small forward. Instead of starting Marion at small forward, coach Rick Carlisle has used him off the bench in both forward spots since Dirk Nowitzki's return. Given how awful the starting small forward options have been (Sasha Pavlovic, then DeShawn Marion) and will be (Peja Stojakovic, we assume), is that smart?

Let's assume that Tom meant DeShawn Stevenson there. He makes a good point, but that isn't the most important thing about these rankings. The biggest thing is that the Mavs are trending upwards at a very important time of the season. If only Caron Butler was still healthy, then they would be really scary.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.