NBA Power Rankings: Miami Heat is fading; Boston Celtics rising

Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

9. Dallas Mavericks

As amazing as Luka Doncic has been for the Dallas Mavericks this season, it’s actually quite deflating that the team is still likely only going to finish as the fourth or fifth seed in the Western Conference heading into the postseason.

Because of that, there’s still no guarantee that this team is going to make it out of the first round of the playoffs. Amazingly, it’s something that the Mavs have not been able to do through the first few years of Luka’s career.

Short of something drastically changing, the Mavs are probably looking at a first-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz. Not sure that is the best-case scenario for the team heading into the postseason.