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NBA Power Rankings 2012: At No. 15, Mavericks Are Not Very Feared

The Dallas Mavericks will have an opportunity to defend their NBA championship, but Western Conference teams aren't exactly fearing the Mavs.

Presswire

The NBA Playoffs are just around the corner, and while the Mavericks will have an opportunity to defend their championship, they're not going to be picked to repeat. SB Nation's Tom Ziller released his latest NBA power rankings and has the Mavs at No. 15.

From Ziller:

This is truly the first time an NBA champion can play the disrespect card. Everyone wants to face the Mavericks in the West bracket, not because teams don't fear Dallas, but because teams fear everyone else even more.

At 36-29, Dallas currently is in seventh place in the Western Conference. The Mavs are 1/2 game behind the Denver Nuggets for sixth place, but Dallas has only one game remaining, while the Nuggets have two games to play. Dallas' last game is Thursday in Atlanta. The Mavs are just 13-19 on the road this season.

For more on the Mavericks go visit Mavs Moneyball. For more on the NBA, check out SB Nation's NBA page.

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