On Monday, the Dallas Mavericks will play their toughest opponent yet, the Boston Celtics. Thankfully for Dallas, they won't have to play in Boston, as the Celtics are currently a league-best 20-1 at home.
The Mavericks will need to play their best brand of basketball if they wish to stick around with the Celtics. For Grant Williams, this will be his first game against his former team. Williams has had a rough first half to the season with the Mavericks but will look to bounce back against his former team.
In the Mavericks' last game, they played the Los Angeles Lakers in a game that never felt close. The Lakers did a great job all night pushing the ball in transition and scoring the basketball. Even with Luka Doncic back from injury, the Mavericks still couldn't find an offensive rhythm.
NBA MVP Power Rankings: New No. 1 rises after Embiid vs Jokic showdown
After such a crushing defeat, it was apparent the Mavericks needed to upgrade defensively. The Mavs have been linked to multiple players but as we inch closer to the February 8 trade deadline, the Mavericks have been in more and more rumors as the days pass. It seems it's only a matter of time before the Mavericks pull the trigger on a trade.
If the Mavericks wish to capitalize in the Luka era, they need to make a trade that will give them a puncher's chance at the NBA title. They do not have to shove all their chips in on one player, but they must upgrade around their 24-year-old superstar.
With the trade deadline fast approaching, let's take a look at this week's NBAA MVP Power Rankings before the playoff push intensifies.
10. Anthony Edwards
Last week's rank: 9
Despite winning and dominating, Anthony Edwards will drop one spot in this week's rankings, going from the No. 10 spot to No. 9. Edwards has continued to showcase his talents on all levels and it was no different this week after throwing down an insane dunk.
9. Tyrese Haliburton
Last week's rank: 10
Tyrese Haliburton will rise the rankings once again after leading his team to a positive record. Haliburton finally gets some much-needed help after Pascal Siakam was recently traded to Indiana. His name could rise if he and Siakam can hit their stride together.
8. Domantas Sabonis
Last week's rank: 7
Domantas Sabonis will drop in this week's rankings after losing four straight games. The Kings need to get things back on track if they wish to avoid the play-in. They will play the Atlanta Hawks on Monday in a must-win game.
7. Kawhi Leonard
Last week's rank: 8
Kawhi Leonard and the LA Clippers have once again defined the odds and dominated in this week's games. The Clippers recently went on a 22-0 run to come back and close out a game vs the Brooklyn Nets.
6. Jayson Tatum
Last week's rank: 5
Despite dropping, Jayson Tatum has had an eventful week. He led his Celtics to multiple big wins and after losing to the Denver Nuggets on their home floor, it was clear this won't be the last time we will see a Celtics vs Nuggets matchup.