On Christmas night, the Dallas Mavericks took on their bitter rival, the Phoenix Suns, in the desert. In the Western Conference showdown, the Mavs would take care of business and win 128-114.
With the help of a new lineup that saw Grant Williams demoted to the bench and multiple players shining in their roles, the Mavericks likely wouldn't have walked out of Phoenix with a win. Tim Hardaway Jr. was one of these players as he continues to contend for the Sixth Man of the Year.
After getting the starting nod once again, Hardaway Jr. had an amazing night on the offensive end. Often, Hardaway Jr. was looked at as the main contributor in the non-Luka minutes due to his scoring capabilities. He would score an important 18 points and grab seven rebounds in the effort over the Suns.
NBA MVP Power Rankings: Nikola Jokic drops, new name joins top two
Additionally, Derrick Jones Jr. had himself a night with three high-flying dunks over opponents. He was an instrumental piece in attacking the defense when Doncic was being double-teamed.
After missing four games, the Mavericks were finally gifted with Dereck Lively II's presence. His impact was instantly felt as he was an instant difference maker, scoring four of the Mavericks' first five points. He finished the night with an amazing 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Despite everyone playing well in their roles, Luka Doncic would be the best present under the tree for NBA fans. Nothing seemed to miss for Doncic as he finished with an amazing 60 percent from the field.
Doncic had a historic night as he finished with his first 50-point game of the season and had an additional 15 dimes as well. Doncic even had a nice contribution on defense and finished with four steals and three blocks. With all this in mind, let's take a look at how this week's NBA MVP Power Rankings will shape up.
10. Kawhi Leonard
Last week's rank: N/A
Kawhi has played in almost every Clippers game this season and has looked like a vicious force in the process. Could this be the 2019 Kawhi?
9. Anthony Edwards
Last week's rank: N/A
Edwards has had an amazing season and has led the T-Wolves to an astounding 22-7 record in the West. He continues to get better and better as the season progresses.
8. Kevin Durant
Last week's rank: 8
Durant and the Suns have dropped a few games over the last few weeks. Things will need to change for Durant if he expects to rise the rankings in future weeks.
7. Tyrese Haliburton
Last week's rank: 7
Haliburton continues to have himself a season as he and the Pacers have had an amazing season. Haliburton has the skills to rise on this list, but with a congested top five, it will be really hard.
6. Jayson Tatum
Last week's rank: 6
Nothing changes for Tatum in this week's ranking, but after leading the Celtics to multiple wins in a row, it won't go unnoticed. Tatum is sniffing the top five, but it may take a little more to see his name in legit MVP conversations.