ESPN's streak of disrespecting the Dallas Mavericks finally ended

Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a long season for the Dallas Mavericks. After experiencing some ups and downs earlier in the campaign and sitting in eighth place in the West during the first two weeks of March, they have secured at least the conference's No. 5 seed and a seemingly favorable matchup in the first round of the playoffs against the LA Clippers.

The Mavs' inspiring home stretch, which led to their resurgence in the standings, features a 16-2 run. The two losses came against opponents that will also make a postseason appearance, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors.

Dallas is entering the playoffs as one of the hottest teams in the NBA. It might even very well be one of the four best squads in the league -- a sentiment a major news outlet concurs with.

Mavericks finally get the respect they deserve in ESPN's Power Rankings

ESPN released its final NBA Power Rankings for the 2023-24 season, and Luka Doncic and the Mavs placed fourth on the list. Only ahead of them are the Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, and Minnesota Timberwolves. Interestingly, ESPN has Dallas higher than the Thunder and LA Clippers, both of which have better records.

It's delightful to see the team finally getting the respect it deserves, especially considering that they have been doubted and disrespected all season long. ESPN seems to believe that the Mavericks are the real deal, and that's a great sign to see considering that ESPN was a heavy doubter of Dallas' trade for Kyrie Irving last season. ESPN disrespectfully ranked Irving as the No. 34 best player in the NBA before the season, and they are obviously eating their words with that take now considering how well he is playing.

Along with that is the appreciation for the work Doncic has been doing in this campaign. Thanks to his masterful performance leading the charge for a reinvigorated Dallas squad, Doncic has gained more traction our MVP power rankings.

The job is not yet done for the organization, though. As impressive as clinching an outright playoff berth is, it still has business to take care of in the remainder of the regular season. 

Some might suggest that the Mavs take it easy against the Detroit Pistons and Thunder in the next few days. However, that might not be in their best interest because they are still in play for the No. 4 seed, which would give them home-court advantage in the first round.

Moreover, Dallas should look to continue to pick up the momentum in preparation for a potential deep playoff run. With a stellar offense led by Doncic and Kyrie Irving and a defense that has turned from awful to elite after some smart moves by coach Jason Kidd, there is strong optimism for the proud franchise and its passionate fans.

To keep yourself updated about Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic, and the Dallas Mavericks, stay tuned with us.