Power Ranking the Mavs: The Chandlers swap places Week 2
By Bailey Rogers
1) Dirk Nowitzki
Last week: 1 (no change)
Dirk looks great through three games. Whether he’s serving as a decoy to create space for his teammates, or nailing vintage Dirk shots when the team needs points, Dirk is still the focal point of an incredibly fun offense so far this season. His three-point percentage (like that of the entire team) needs to come up, but the big German looks like he is really enjoying himself out there right now.
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2) Tyson Chandler
Last week: 4 (up 2 spots)
It was very obvious after the first game just how vital Tyson is to this team. Once he was in foul trouble and had to sit out, the Spurs came alive. The Mavs couldn’t do anything to stop them. Tyson isn’t only contributing on the defensive end, though. He is also averaging 10 points and just under 8 rebounds a game. And the way that he is throwing down alley oops from just about everyone, Dallas could challenge LA for the title of “Lob City.”
3) Monta Ellis
Last week: 3 (no change)
Monta is leading the team in scoring right now. The things I’ve loved about Monta so far this season is that he seems to have learned to heat up at just the right times. When the Mavs get into a funk and need points, you know that either Dirk or Monta are magically going to just heat up and start scoring in bunches. Monta is really owning the midrange lately. I don’t love it when players take a bunch of those shots, but Monta seems to really have a knack for it early this season.
4) Chandler Parsons
Last week: 2 (down 2 spots)
That first game was really rough. Not sure what happened against the Spurs, but Parsons has been much better in the 2 games since opening night. In particular, scoring in the first half against New Orleans looked remarkably effortless. I really like the variety that Parsons brings every night and have been impressed with his rotations on defense. It really feels like he’ll be able to do some crazy awesome things once he gets used to his teammates and really settled in Carlisle’s offense.
5) Al-Farouq Aminu
Last week: 5 (no change)
Aminu gets rebounds. Seemingly all of them. Last week when I had Aminu ranked 5, I didn’t quite believe myself that he is currently the 5th best player on the Mavs. But he may very well be. He just seems to fit well as a defense & rebound glue guy, as long as there are shooters on the floor with him. I have no idea how a guy who can’t shoot scores 16 points in a game, but that’s just how Farouq does it. If he can ever learn to shoot, watch out.
6) Brandan Wright
Last week: 8 (up 2 spots)
Brandan Wright is second in the league in PER. Can you believe that? Dude continues to be a fantastic finisher and offensive weapon and has even stepped up his rebounding game a bit. Still isn’t much help on the defensive end, but hey that’s not really his job I guess.
7) Devin Harris
Last week: 7 (no change)
I don’t know what to say about Devin. He is chaotic. Sometimes he infuriates me, and sometimes he has me jumping for joy. If he will promise to stop taking long mid-range jumpers off the dribble (that’s Monta’s thing, duh) and cut out those terrible 2-for-1 attempts that he never seems to hit, I will consider ranking him higher next week.
8) Jameer Nelson
Last week: 8 (down 2 spot)
Jameer falls two spots mostly just because Wright has been so noticeably fun and awesome. Nelson isn’t doing anything spectacular, but he is doing a solid job of running the offense.
9) J.J. Barea
Last week: not ranked
The little guy is back! And surprisingly, he actually played quite a bit and held his own. Driving the ball and initiating offense, Barea has shown flashes of what everyone loved about him in 2011. I didn’t see it coming, but it seems as if he has already locked up the other backup guard spot.
10) Richard Jefferson
Last week: 9 (down 1 spot)
I’m holding Jefferson’s no-score against Utah against him here. Seriously bro? No revenge game? Jefferson looked good against the Spurs, but hasn’t done much since.
11) Jae Crowder
Last week: 10 (down 1 spot)
Poor Jae has fallen out of the rotation. With Aminu playing well and the veteran Jefferson available for vet-friendly Rick Carlisle, Crowder has seen his share of playing time diminish. Jae is going to have to earn his way back into the rotation, preferably by demonstrating a consistent three-point shot in practice. I hear Aminu is working on his, so the race is on.
12) Greg Smith
Last week: 13 (up 1 spot)
Smith was the first backup big man to enter a game for the Mavs this season. He played for what felt like one possession and hasn’t been heard of since. He has been fairly unspectacular so far in his limited time, but hasn’t looked terrible either. I would like to see him get some more playing time to keep Tyson well-rested. Until then, he’ll probably stay down here with the rest of the DNPers.
12) Charlie Villanueva
Last week: 13 (down 1 spot)
Hasn’t played other than in the blowout against Utah. Which is good.
14) Ricky Ledo
Last week: 14 (no change)
Not really any good way of ranking the inactives. I gave Charlie V precedence over Ledo primarily because I bet Charlie is the first to see the court this season. The return of Barea has made it all but certain Ledo will be playing in Frisco very soon.
15) Raymond Felton
Last week: 15 (no change)
Ray Felton is just back here taking up space. With Jameer, Monta, Devin, and Barea all playing well, Felton is really unnecessary. He’ll probably get a chance to play some when he eventually comes back, but he’ll have to earn that chance in practice.