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NBA Power Rankings: Mavericks Fall To No. 5

SB Nation's NBA power rankings are up for this week, and the Dallas Mavericks have dropped one spot to #5. The Spurs, Lakers, Celtics and Bulls hold the top four spots this week, with LA and Chicago both jumping in front of Dallas.

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5. Dallas Mavericks (46-17, Prev: #4) -- The Mavericks are on the right track, but this might be the end of Dallas' championship window. Too many players are too close to losing their physical abilities that make them special. Nothing would be more satisfying, I think, than taking out the Lakers, Spurs and Heat for a ring.

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Five seems fair at this point. You're not going to rank the Mavericks ahead of the Spurs or Celtics at the moment. The Lakers and Bulls are hot and are coming off of big wins this weekend, and Dallas exposed its soft underbelly with Tyson Chandler out. This group has a shot at 60 wins without winning one game all season by 20 points. They do just enough most nights, not a characteristic that usually screams "championship."

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They do have a chance to assert themselves over the next ten days, when they will host both the Lakers (Saturday) and the Spurs (on the 18th). Before the first showdown they have to survive a second back-to-back in five days, at New Orleans and home to the retooled Knickerbockers. 

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