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NBA Power Rankings: Mavericks Bounce Back

Dirk Nowitzki is back and apparently so are the Mavericks. After a 3-9 stretch that included a six-game losing streak immediately following Dirk's knee injury, Dallas has now won five straight, including four in the last week. SB Nation's power rankings were kind to them through their struggles, expecting them to pull out of their tailspin when healthy, and they seem to have been correct. This week, they're back up to number eight.

8. Dallas Mavericks (32-15, Prev: #9) -- The Mavericks had a 4-0 week, and while the offense nor defense is completely back, things are looking better. Things would be looking even better if Rodrigue Beaubois could get back on the court. He's a potential game-changer, but he needs some immersion in the rotation before crunch time in March.

The Spurs top the rankings as usual and don't appear likely to relinquish the top spot any time soon. They're now followed by three Eastern Conference teams - Miami, Boston, Chicago - and the Lakers, who are apparently investigating shaking things up.

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