The Mavericks moved up a spot in the latest edition of ESPN.com's NBA Power Rannkings, rising from No. 7 to No. 6 with help from a two-spot drop suffered by the Denver Nuggets. Dallas' playoff conqueror fell from No. 6 to No. 8 as the Nuggets prepare to play the first seven games of the season without suspended swingman J.R. Smith.
The Mavs' promotion, though, hit cyberspace before coach Rick Carlisle acknowledged Monday that it "could be weeks" before swingman Josh Howard returns to the lineup after offseason wrist and ankle surgery.
This week's Mavs comment:
"Dallas is deeper than it was when it went to the 2006 Finals. The problem: San Antonio can say the same about its current team and the 2007 title team. The competition at the top is so much deeper now, too."
Click here for the complete opening-night edition of the rankings.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.
Play Podcast Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.
Play Podcast Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.
Play Podcast Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.
Play Podcast ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
Play Podcast Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.
Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.