NBA Western Power Rankings Week 4: Warriors make history

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Nov 20, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Zaza Pachulia (27) reacts after scoring during the first half against the Utah Jazz at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

4th: Dallas Mavericks (37 points)

By Tom West

Record: 9-5

Record last week: 4-1

It almost feels like the Mavericks should have a 9-5 record. They’re 3rd in the West, yet no one expected anything better than a struggle from them over the early weeks of the season. As they progress, though, they take their opponents and critics by surprise. They have no young, explosive talent, and all their leaders are supposed to be past their prime. But the Mavericks don’t care. They’ve kept grinding and have some impressive wins under their belt because of it.

For a start, Deron Williams is playing better than he has in years. He has the highest player efficiency rating (18) he’s had in three years, and he’s increased his field goal percentage (43.8), three point percentage (39.5), steals (1.5) and scoring (14.3 points) from last season. Zaza Pachulia looks good, too. He’s their new double double machine with 10.7 points and 10 rebounds per game, which makes the loss of Tyson Chandler a little easier to take.

What’s even better is that Williams and Pachulia looked like last resort additions for the Mavericks this summer, but their play is proving otherwise.

As for Dirk Nowitzki, he’s simply been exceptional. No 37 year old should make averaging 18 points while shooting 53.9 percent and a league-best 53.3 percent from three look easy, but Dirk does. He truly is one of the most ageless players in NBA history and the best shooting big man we’ve ever seen.

The Mavericks are making something happen from nothing, and that’s earned them the 4th spot in our rankings.

Next: Oklahoma City Thunder