NBA Power Rankings: Buying the Mavs in the West; Clippers finally turning corner?

Are the Dallas Mavericks for real and have the LA Clippers finally turned the corner?

Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks
Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks / Tim Heitman/GettyImages
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11. Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers haven't been the surprise that the Orlando Magic have been in the Eastern Conference this season but they're certainly talked about more. Maybe that has to do with the fact that they made it all the way to the In-Season Tournament championship or perhaps because they have the most prolific offense in the NBA. Either way, the Pacers are certainly a team on the rise in the Eastern Conference.

The big question is whether or not they'll be able to remain near the top of the Eastern Conference standings all season long. I think that will depend on one thing - whether or not they end up taking a step forward or back at the NBA Trade Deadline. Quite frankly, there's an argument for both sides.

The Pacers could end up taking a step back if they end up trading Buddy Hield. That's fair considering he's expected to leave in free agency during the summer. At the same rate, they've been rumored to be a team that could be aggressive at the deadline too.