NBA Power Rankings week 10: OKC Thunder vault up ladder

OKC Thunder Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
DALLAS, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 22: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks . (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

13. team. 79. . 21-11. Previous: 2nd. Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks:

Offense: (115.3) 1st
Defense: (107.7) 15th
Net: (plus +7.6)  2nd

Games Week 10 (2-1): Wins vs Spurs 102-98, Warriors: 141-121, Lost to Lakers: 95-108
Games Week 11 (3 games): Tues at Thunder, Thurs vs. Nets, Sat vs. Hornets

This feels like too much of a drop for the Mavericks but like James Harden recently discovered being a beast has its privileges and its downfalls.

In the case of Luka Doncic he’s learning that being a top star in the league means he’ll get extra attention and without Kristaps Porzingis available it increases that attention. Versus the Lakers, he took some shots which bordered on flagrant but he’ll face more of the same moving forward as teams force the ball out of his hand and rely on the supplementary players to hit their shots.

More importantly, the playmaking becomes an issue and one Donnie Nelson will need to address at the trade deadline. Dallas has depth but the area they struggle with is players who can create shots for others and without those types of players on the roster it allows opponents to key in on Luka more.

Porzingis isn’t a great passer which means someone beyond Delon Wright and Jalen Brunson needs to step up. In the loss to the Lakers, Luka got beat up but LA also employed the tactic of forcing others to deliver the goods and they struggled.

It’s not to say the Mavericks won’t overcome this issue (they will) but it sure would be nice to add another playmaker or two into the mix prior to February 6th.

Meanwhile, Luka has more triple-doubles this season then he had last (nine versus eight).