NBA Pre-Season Dallas Mavericks Player Power Rankings
Dallas is 3-3 so far in their eight game preseason with two more contests to go this week against Oklahoma City and Charlotte.
While some players have been able to jump out to hot starts in the preseason, others have struggled or gone down with injuries.
Here are the Mavs roster's power rankings based on their performance thus far in the pre-season.
15. Dominique Jones
As crowded as Dallas's backcourt was this year, we knew Rick Carlisle was going to have to limit someone's minutes significantly, and it turns out that player was Dominique Jones.
Many had high hopes that this could be the year Jones breaks out, but third year man out of South Florida is averaging only 2.3 PPG in only 9.7 minutes in the preseason, so don't expect much from him once the season starts.
Jones's best bet to pickup solid playing time is either an injury to someone ahead of him or going down to the D-league.
14. Bernard James
Even with Chris Kaman and Dirk Nowitzki missing time this preseason with injuries, Bernard James still hasn't been able to crack the rotation in the preseason.
The rookie big man is getting only six and a half minutes per contest and in that time is averaging around three points and three rebounds.
If James can't find playing time in the preseason with Nowitzki and Kaman out, it does not bode well for him once the regular season begins either.
13. Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki may be the Mavericks best player, but he certainly did not have the best preseason.
Dirk managed to play in only game this preseason and scored only eight points in 34 minutes. He has missed the previous five games after having knee surgery that will keep him out for the early portion of the season in Dallas.
If the Mavs have to go a considerable amount of time without a healthy Dirk Nowitzki they may find themselves near the basement of the Western Conference by the time he returns.
12. Delonte West
The Mavs knew what they were getting into when they resigned Delonte West this offseason and thus far he has lived up to his reputation.
West is a productive, smart, player on the court, but off the court he is just as unpredictable.
West was suspended earlier in the preseason for conduct detrimental to the team and although he was reinstated less than 24 hours later, it still is a cause for concern with a team who lacks any real team chemistry.
West also hasn't really been his normal self on the court in the preseason in 2012, managing only 5.5 points, and 2.2 assists per game.
11. Jared Cunningham
Mavericks first-round draft pick Jared Cunningham has the potential to be an above-average NBA shooting guard, but he may not be given the opportunity to get the minutes he needs to prove that this year.
Cunningham is averaging just over 10 minutes a game in the preseason, being forced to play behind Vince Carter, O.J. Mayo, Darren Collison, Delonte West, and Roddy Beaubois.
Cunningham has been raw thus far, scoring 4.2 points a game in the preseason, but also averaging a turnover a game and shooting just 20% from three point land.
Cunningham will continue to improve as he progresses, but his NBA career has gotten off to an uneven start this preseason.
10. Dahntay Jones
Dahntay Jones is another two guard who will be battling it out for bench minutes in Dallas backcourt.
While Jones hasn't done anything this preseason to make himself stand out, he may fit in, at least for now, better in the Mavs system than Cunningham or Dominique Jones.
Jones has proven to be a defensive stopper in the past, and if he can keep his field goal and three point shooting percentage above 40% like he has in the preseason he should see solid playing time.
9. Rodrigue Beaubois
One of the biggest position battles to look out for on the Mavs roster this year is that of backup point guard.
Delonte West seems like the odds on favorite, but the Mavs have another solid option, Frenchmen Rodrigue Beaubois.
Beaubois has struggled to get consistent minutes since coming to Dallas, and this preseason he has played in only three of Dallas's six games.
Beaubois has been relatively ineffective in those games, scoring at just 6.3 points per game. while shooting just 37.5%.
If Beaubois can't beat out West for significant playing time, he could be on the trade block early in the 2012-2013 season.
8. Brandan Wright
With Brendan Haywood and Ian Mahimi out, Bernard James not ready, and Elton Brand undersized, the Mavericks new backup center this year is Brandan Wright.
Wright will be forced to play more minutes than he is used to at the center position and he will have to use his athleticism to make up for what he lacks in physical strength.
Wright excels on the offensive end of the ball, but he has been up and down in Dallas, including in this year's preseason.
In the five games he has played in, Wright has averaged 6.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 17.8 minutes per game. Expect all of those numbers to go up (including his poor shooting average from the field) in the regular season, but for now Wright's season has gotten off to a rocky start.
7. O.J. Mayo
The good news for O.J. Mayo about his first six games in a Mavs uniform are that he is third on the team in scoring at 10.8 points a game, second on the team in assists per-game, and second in minutes played, all signs that he is ready to take on his much larger role in the Mavs offense this season.
The bad news is that he is shooting an atrocious 36% from the field, while taking the most shots of anyone on the team.
While the sample set is much to small to judge how Mayo will play in the regular season, the issue many fans have with Mayo is that they were worried with his leash being extended too much that the shoot first guard will not play within the team consistently.
The answer remains unclear, but if Mayo wants to avoid that tag on him, he will need to simply knock down more shots once the real games begin.
6. Elton Brand
Elton Brand was brought to Dallas this season to play a major role in the teams front court alongside Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman.
Brand will be a presence in the paint because of his scoring capability as well as defense at the rim. Thus far in the preseason, Brand has played in five of six games for Dallas and has put up average numbers.
Brand is scoring at a solid 8.2 points per game, and grabbing five rebounds while shooting at an even 40%.
With Dirk Nowitzki out for the first several weeks of the season, Brand's role in the offense will significantly increase, and he will need to be the teams top option off the bench, or at the starting four spot.
5. Chris Kaman
If Chris Kaman was able to stay healthy, he might have been able to grab the number one spot on the list of Dallas pre-season player power rankings.
After all, Kaman is leading the team in both scoring and rebounding in the preseason and has really seemed to fit in with his new club so far.
However, Kaman suffered a strained calf and will be out until at least the Mavs opener next week.
Kaman's health is essential if Dallas is going to be successful, especially without Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavs took a risk bringing in the injury prone Kaman to Dallas, and although this injury isn't serious, it is already the second one suffered by Kaman since signing.
Mavs fans will be watching Kaman with their eyes half shut all year long praying that he avoid the injury bug since he is one of the teams most important players in a stacked Western Conference next season.
4. Shawn Marion
So far in the preseason, Shawn Marion has been exactly what the Mavs expect him to be all season long, consistent and efficient on offense, solid on the boards, and a force defensively.
Marion is the Mavs most underrated player, and when he is playing at his best, it adds another dimension to Dallas's offense.
Marion has been the opposite of O.J. Mayo on offense this preseason, scoring only two points less a game but shooting more than 15% higher from the floor.
If Marion can become even close to the scorer he was in Phoenix early in the season when Dirk is out, it will take the load off of other Dallas players to outproduce their expectations.
3. Darren Collison
With Jason Kidd departed to the Knicks, the Mavericks have brought in former Hornet and Pacer Darren Collison to run the point in Dallas this year.
Thus far in the preseason, Collison has been able to show that he can effectively run the team perhaps better than Kidd even could at his advanced age.
Collison hasn't been spectacular so far, but he has been solid, and more importantly he has looked comfortable.
Collison is scoring at 8.3 points a game this preseason to go along with 6.5 APG with just 1.5 turnovers, while playing the bulk of the minutes at point.
If Collison can keep up that pace when more minutes come his way, he should be right where Carlisle wants him to be in the regular season.
2. Jae Crowder
Although it still may be too early (it is) to tell if Jae Crowder will be an effective NBA player, everything about him points to him being a potential steal for the Mavs in the second round of this year's draft.
Crowder has been great for Dallas in the preseason so far, even starting two games. Crowder, in only 18 minutes a game is scoring at nearly 10 PPG, while securing nearly four rebounds and most impressively grabbing 2.17 steals per game.
2.17 steals in 18 minutes is a pretty astounding number in and of itself, but it just exemplifies what kind of player Crowder is. Although he won't ever set any scoring records, Crowder won't be outworked by anyone on the court, and that mentality should allow him to be a huge success in Dallas.
If Crowder can repeat what he has done in the preseason (and there is no reason why he shouldn't), not only will he be in the rotation, but he will be a huge contributor to the Mavs in his rookie season.
1. Vince Carter
Don't look now, but no Maverick has impressed in the preseason more than Vinsanity himself, Vince Carter.
In Carter's six games, (all coming off the bench) he trails only Chris Kaman in scoring at 12.2 points per-game. He also is shooting at 45%, which is a great number for him at this point in his career, and seems to be readily accepting his role as a sixth man.
If Carter can be that scoring threat off the bench in the backcourt that the Mavericks desperately need, it will make the loss of Jason Terry be a lot less painful for Dallas fans.
Carter still has a long way to go to proving he isn't washed up, but if he keeps up his efforts from the preseason, we could still be seeing a little bit of the old superstar in Vince Carter that we saw in his glory days in Toronto and New Jersey.
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