On Friday, the Dallas Mavericks headed into a big game against the Portland Trail Blazers. After defeating the Trail Blazers at home, the Mavericks looked to double down in Friday's game. They not only doubled down but dominated the opposing Trailblazers 139-103 with an injured roster.
The Mavericks were without their superstar Luka Doncic and rookie phenom Dereck Lively II, as both were out with injuries. The Mavs were also without forward Grant Williams as he went down with a similar injury to Lively II's.
Despite only being 1-5 with Lively II out of the lineup, the Mavericks trekked on behind Kyrie Irving. It was an all-around team effort, as four of the five starters finished in double digits when the final buzzer sounded.
NBA MVP Power Rankings: Joel Embiid drops, a new No. 1 emerges
A total of six Mavericks finished in double digits, and Jaden Hardy was a huge reason why. In one of his first starts of the season, Hardy finished with a near triple-double of 19 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists. Hardy seemed to get everyone involved and proved why he is a big piece of the Mavs rotation.
With so many Mavericks out due to injury, it has become clear to fans that the team needs to cash in for a third star. The gap from second to third best on this team is too wide if the Mavs expect to contend. Even if Nico Harrison can't cash in for a third star, the team needs to upgrade at the forward position.
Dallas also grabbed a big win against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday, and Luka Doncic looked phenomenal.
Let's take a look at this week's MVP Power Rankings.
10. Anthony Davis
Last week's rank: 9
Anthony Davis falls down the rankings after his Lakers go 2-10 in their last 12 games. Davis's production has dropped off dramatically after putting up amazing numbers last week. The Lakers will need a few more wins if Davis expects to get back in the race.
9. Domantas Sabonis
Last week's rank: N/A
Domantas Sabonis skyrockets up the rankings after leading the Kings to four wins in their last five played. Sabonis has quietly had an all-star-level season and expects to build on it as we get closer to the All-Star break.
8. Anthony Edwards
Last week's rank: 7
After going just 1-2 in last week's games, Anthony Edwards will drop. Edwards has had a promising start to the season as he has fluctuated in and out of MVP conversations.
7. Tyrese Haliburton
Last week's rank: 8
Tyrese Haliburton would be higher on this list if he didn't recently get blown out by the Boston Celtics. Despite the blowout loss, Haliburton led his Pacers to six straight wins and is back in the running in the East. Haliburton and the Pacers seem to be on a roll, so expect him to rise in the rankings next week.
6. Jayson Tatum
Last week's rank: 6
Once again, Jayson Tatum is hunkering down the sixth spot in this week's rankings. Tatum has led the Celtics to an NBA-best 28-7 and looks to build this historic season in the coming weeks.