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NBA Power Rankings: Mavericks Slide, But Probably Not As Far As They Should

After a 1-3 week where they came back to beat the Clippers, but then were blown out of the Staples Center by the Lakers, outshot by the Warriors, and manhandled by the Blazers, the Mavericks fell just one spot from 7th to 8th in SB Nation's new NBA power rankings.

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8. Dallas Mavericks (53-24, Prev: 7) -- Since Dirk Nowitzki got healthy, the Mavericks had been good about making sure to only lose to good teams, and by acceptable margins. Forget all that. The Lakers destroyed Dallas last week, and the Mavs followed up with a bad loss to Golden State. If not for the Spurs' slide, we'd all be busy digging Big D's grave.

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Given that the Mavericks have lost eight straight and 11 of 12 (and that one win was in mid-January) against Western Conference playoff teams, I don't know that we can fault anyone for preparing for Dallas' quick playoff demise.

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Elsewhere, the Bulls maintain the top spot, and the Heat jumped the Lakers. The Heat beat the Lakers last month and have the strong point differential, but I'm not quite sure how similarly hot East teams with the same records as a West counterpart should be ranked higher on power rankings, particularly with the skins on LA's wall.

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