1) Dirk Nowitzki
Last week: 1 (no change)
It really felt like Dirk was the driving force in reversing the Mavs’ third quarter problems against the Utah Jazz. Despite the expectation that “Run DMC” would be a more balanced big three for the Mavs, this is still clearly Dirk’s team. The big German is set to pass Hakeem Olajuwon for ninth on the all-time scoring list. It could happen tonight.
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2) Tyson Chandler
Last week: 2 (no change)
The refs have been hatin on Chandler lately, but give the big man props for calling out his team for a lack of competitiveness against the Heat last night. Tyson continues to be the heart of this team, and once the team starts to emulate his grit and determination, some of the defensive issues should start to take care of themselves.
3) Monta Ellis
Last week: 3 (no change)
Monta had a little less than it all last night, but he has been consistent as the second scoring option behind Dirk. I’ve been impressed lately by how much more patient he looks this season than in the past.
4) Brandan Wright
Last week: 7 (up 3 spots)
Brandan Wright is shooting 75% for the season and is virtually tied with Dirk for the team lead in PER (26.6 for Dirk, 26.3 for Wright). Dude is an offensive dynamo. Parsons’s poor play allows Brandan to leap up the rankings like he’s going for a sweet alley oop slam.
5) Al-Farouq Aminu
Last week: 5 (no change)
Aminu continues to be my favorite new acquisition. His presence was sorely missed in the second half of the Blazers game, as the Mavs were thoroughly out-rebounded en route to a blowout loss. He’s playing less than 15 minutes a game right now, but if you look at his per-36 numbers, he is contributing to the team at a near double-double pace.
6) Devin Harris
Last week: 7 (up 1 spots)
Devin has been the Mavs’ most consistent point guard. This may say more about Jameer Nelson than it does about Devin. Harris isn’t living up to his potential on defense and continues to make some frustrating decisions, but he keeps the second string in games at times and always seems to hit a crazy shot when needed.
7) Chandler Parsons
Last week: 4 (down 3 spots)
I understand that Parsons was sick against the Jazz. But I’m not sure he had that excuse against the Heat. After scoring 29 against Boston, Chandler’s game just completely fell off the map. His field goal percentage over the last three games is a miserable 19.6%. He’s still getting rebounds at a decent rate, but the Mavs need Parsons to be something close to a star. He looks lost right now.
8) J.J. Barea
Last week: 9 (up 1 spot)
JJ has continued to be a fairly reliable, if unremarkable, spark off the bench. He leads the team in assist percentage.
9) Jameer Nelson
Last week: 8 (down 1 spot)
Jameer is trying too hard. He needs to stop forcing things. The Mavs brought him here to be Jose Calderon, but he is dead set on being Monta Ellis instead. And it is screwing with the offense.
10) Jae Crowder
Last week: 11 (up 1 spot)
Richard Jefferson has been less than great this week, yet Jae couldn’t turn that into more playing time. Despite continuing to be in Rick Carlisle’s doghouse, Jae did have some good minutes at the end of the Heat game last night.
11) Richard Jefferson
Last week: 10 (down 1 spot)
Mavs fans still have yet to see the Richard Jefferson we witnessed in preseason. The guy who shot over 40% on threes last season is currently hitting only 12.5% from behind the arc.
12) Greg Smith
Last week: 12 (no change)
Smith simply doesn’t play much. Chandler and Wright are both playing really well right now, though Wright’s defense is always somewhat questionable. It’ll be interesting to see how Wright will be able to find his way onto the court.
13) Charlie Villanueva
Last week: 13 (no change)
Somehow suckered Rick Carlisle into playing him early in the game against Utah. He was predictably not great and was promptly benched. Still getting into games a bit though.
14) Ricky Ledo
Last week: 14 (no change)
Hasn’t played. Should be in Frisco soon.
15) Raymond Felton
Last week: 15 (no change)
Still Ray Felton. But with the frustrating performance of Jameer Nelson, look out for when Felton finally gets back on the court.