*Note: Now that Ricky Ledo has been assigned to the Texas Legends, I’ve shortened the power rankings to 14 spots. If Ledo gets called up or Dallas adds another player, the list will go back to 15.
1) Brandan Wright
Last week: 4 (up 3 spots)
Brandan Wright is the Mavs’ best player right now. He is shooting 78.5%, with a 79.7 true shooting percentage. I rant and rave about Wright’s insane PER every week, and yet it continues to go up (31.1 right now). Even more impressive, Wright’s defense and rebounding efforts have looked much more on point the past couple of weeks. Against the Rockets last night, Brandan Wright was often the only one keeping the Mavs in the game. I’m sure Dirk will reclaim this top spot again before too long, but for now Wright is the man.
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2) Dirk Nowitzki
Last week: 1 (down 1 spot)
If not for an off night against the Rockets, Dirk would probably still be #1. It was a bad night for him (and others), but prior to that, dude has been on fire, leading the Mavs to several blowout wins. He scored 23 points in just over 21 minutes against the Lakers. Discounting for that clunker against Houston, Dirk has a field goal percentage of 52% and is shooting 65% from 3 since last week.
3) Monta Ellis
Last week: 3 (no change)
Like Dirk, Monta had a very quiet night against Houston. But he absolutely carried the team against LA and Washington. Monta single-handedly kept the Mavs in the game during the 1st quarter against the Wizards. It’s been long enough now that I feel comfortable saying that Monta certainly seems to have improved his three-point shot this season. He is shooting 35% on the long ball this season, up to 37.5% over the last 8 games.
4) Tyson Chandler
Last week: 2 (down 2 spots)
Tyson Chandler is still awesome. He had a double-double last night, with 13 points & 13 rebounds. He has been a double-double machine all season. I continue to be impressed with how effortlessly he grabs up boards. But Wright and Monta both had killer weeks, so here Tyson is, down a couple of spots.
5) Al-Farouq Aminu
Last week: 6 (up 1 spot)
Aminu was fantastic in the Hornets and Lakers games. He played nearly 30 minutes against Charlotte, scoring 9 points and getting 11 rebounds. Aminu’s stats are down from his career averages, but that is because of his smaller role. If you look at his per-36 numbers, you can see that he is really thriving in his role this season. I love his energy off the bench.
6) J.J. Barea
Last week: 8 (up 2 spots)
This was JJ’s week you guys. With Devin out, Barea really held down the fort in the backup PG role. He had 16 and 8 against the Lakers, and 14 and 6 against the Wizards. It also felt like there was a stretch against Houston last night during which JJ and Brandan Wright were carrying the Mavs all by their lonesome. I have been really impressed with Barea’s energy and effectiveness lately.
7) Chandler Parsons
Last week: 5 (down 2 spots)
I really thought Parsons would have used last night as fodder for some great play. Instead we got a performance in which he missed every 3-pointer he took and scored only 8 points. Chandler is still figuring out his role in the Dallas offense, but it is troubling how poorly he seems to play against good teams so far.
8) Jameer Nelson
Last week: 9 (up 1 spot)
I’m still not loving what Jameer is doing, but he benefits from Devin’s absence this week and moves up the rankings a spot.
9) Devin Harris
Last week: 7 (down 2 spots)
Devin was hurt against Charlotte and didn’t play again until last night against Houston. And yet he is still ahead of Jefferson and Crowder.
10) Greg Smith
Last week: 12 (up 2 spots)
Smith, Crowder, & Jefferson are all in something of a heap. None of them are playing great, none are playing terrible, and none are doing anything to earn themselves more minutes, even though they had their opportunities thanks to a number of blowout wins. Smith moves ahead of Crowder & Jefferson largely based on expectations. Smith has none, whereas both Crowder and Jefferson both continue to underwhelm. Smith plays hard and gets rebounds, if nothing else.
11) Jae Crowder
Last week: 11 (no change)
Jae put up 10 points on 57.1% shooting against the Lakers. Other than that, he continues to do a lot of nothing. Interestingly, Crowder’s stats have gone down every season he has been in the league.
12) Richard Jefferson
Last week: 10 (down 2 spots)
Honestly, Jefferson has been the biggest disappointment so far this season. There’s no reason he can’t take on Vince Carter’s role from last season, but he can’t even beat out Jae Crowder for minutes.
13) Charlie Villanueva
Last week: 13 (no change)
With Felton coming back, Charlie V’s time in uniform should be coming to an end soon. Charlie only plays in garbage time, and with Ledo in Frisco, Villanueva will likely be the Mavs’ only inactive from here on out.
14) Raymond Felton
Last week: 14 (no change)
Felton should make his debut tonight. The way that Rick Carlisle has been playing JJ bigger minutes lately gives me the impression that he is as sour on Jameer as a lot of us are. Will Felton be able to take advantage?