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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6. Dallas Mavericks

Nearly at the 25-game mark of the regular season, the Dallas Mavericks continue to prove that they may have staying power at the top of the Western Conference standings. Even as Kyrie Irving recovers from an injury, the Mavs are still a credible threat in the West. And while Luka Doncic is a big part of that, who should be in the early running for the NBA MVP, the Mavs' supporting cast does deserve some love.

Tim Hardaway Jr. and Grant Williams have been huge for this team this season. Apart from Kyrie, they've been the two most important players on the Mavs next to Luka. If this continues to be a trend throughout the remainder of the regular season, and assuming Kyrie returns, the Mavs are going to be a legitimate threat to make a deep run in the playoffs.

Short of something unexpected happening, it seems as if the Mavs are going to factor in the West hierarchy once again. Considering how exciting a player Luka is at this point in his career, that's a great sign for the league. And as polarizing as Kyrie is, he's still one of the most talented players in the West.