NBA Power Rankings: Lakers desperate for bold trade deadline move; Streaking Suns

There are a few big jumps in our latest NBA Power Rankings at the midway point of the season.
Phoenix Suns v Dallas Mavericks
Phoenix Suns v Dallas Mavericks / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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12. Dallas Mavericks

After falling apart last season, in which the Dallas Mavericks completely missed the playoffs, this is a team that entered this year with a bit of a chip on its shoulder. And throughout the first couple of months of the season, the Mavs were showing that they were very much up to the task proving the naysayers wrong.

Kyrie Irving has missed a few games this season due to injuries, but for the most part, the Mavs have been pretty consistent all season long. That said, heading into the NBA Trade Deadline, this is still a team that very much remains a player away from potentially making a true run in the playoffs. The Mavs currently find themselves in the mix in the Western Conference and are only a few games out of a top-five seed in the West.

However, considering how cluttered the conference standings are at the moment, there’s no guarantee that Dallas is going to avoid the Play-In Tournament in the West. It’s hard to dictate or predict what exactly would quantify as a successful season for the Mavs because of how talented they are at the top, but if they can somehow make it to the second round of the playoffs, I do believe that is kind of the ceiling for this roster for this season. A big move at the trade deadline can change everything, though.