Dallas Mavericks slip one spot in ESPN Power Rankings

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Kristaps Porzingis Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Kristaps Porzingis Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dallas Mavericks slip one spot in ESPN Power Rankings

The Dallas Mavericks want to jump into title contention this season. They had the league’s top offense in 2020 but finished just 18th in defensive rating. Coach Rick Carlisle talked frequently about the Mavs being a top ten team in that category, but it never happened.

The Mavericks emphasized improving their defense and toughness this offseason. They traded Seth Curry for Josh Richardson on draft night. Dallas also added James Johnson, Wesley Iwundu, and first-round pick Josh Green to boost its defense. All the improvements have Luka Doncic and the Mavs hungry to begin the season.

ESPN released their latest NBA Power Rankings on Dec. 7. The Mavericks dropped one spot, but still hold a high ranking. Let us take a look.

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Dallas Mavericks sit 6th in ESPN’s latest Power Rankings

ESPN’s first set for the 2020-2021 season came just after the NBA Finals wrapped up. They had no idea where players would end up after the flurry of offseason moves. Dallas was fifth in those rankings behind the Lakers, Clippers, Bucks, and Nuggets, but the transactions changed things up.

The Mavs slipped to sixth in the latest rankings. They passed the Denver Nuggets but fell behind the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets.

It is hard to argue against the Heat, who made the NBA Finals last season, but the Nets were surprising. Yes, they have Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but both players are coming off significant injuries, and they have not played a game together yet. Putting the Nets third in their Power Rankings seems a bit premature.

The schedule makers did the Mavericks no favors early in the season, so it will be interesting to see if they can hold this spot. Dallas begins with the Suns, Lakers, and Clippers in their first three games. It will be a fun test to start the 2020-2021 season. Fans will not want to miss it, so stay tuned.

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