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NBA MVP 2012 Power Rankings: Will Dirk Nowitzki Ever Return To His MVP Form?

As the NBA begins the journey down the backstretch of their season with the All-Star game in their sights, many NBA teams are now settled into their schedules and know what kind of team they truly have. However, for the Dallas Mavericks, still ravaged by injuries and chemistry issues its still unclear what to expect from the defending champions on a nightly basis.

Tom Ziller's MVP Rankings were released on Wednesday and the Mavericks' biggest star, Dirk Nowitzki, is nowhere to be found. While Nowitzki has been in and out of the lineup trying to get back into shape, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Mavs need Nowitzki to win. Yet, in the last five games Dirk has averaged only 16.4 points/game and the Mavs are only 2-3 in that time. In the last two games, Dirk's been much improved but it still hasn't manifested into wins.

Dirk and the Mavericks will have another opportunity to turn themselves around versus Denver on Wednesday night, maybe the MVP will return in the process.

For more on the Mavericks, head over to Mavs Moneyball while Denver Stiffs has all the latest on the Nuggets. For more news and insights on the NBA, check out the SB Nation NBA hub page.

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