NBA Power Rankings Playoff Edition: Brooklyn Nets Come In Near The Bottom

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Apr 15, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) congratulates guard Raymond Felton (2) after Felton makes a three point shot during the second half at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Trail Blazers 114-98. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

12. Dallas Mavericks (50-32) 7th Place In Western Conference

A trade for Rajon Rondo looked like it would catapult the Mavericks into the upper echelon of the Western Conference. With an extremely efficient offense, and a defense lagging behind, the Mavericks thought a trade for one of the better defensive point guards in the NBA would help that end of the court, while his passing prowess wouldn’t hurt the offense. That proved to be false, as the Mavericks never got things going with Rondo in the fold, and he butted heads a lot with head coach Rick Carlisle.

But as we have seen in his days with Boston, playoff Rondo is a different animal from regular season Rondo. He turns it up when it matters most, and in the NBA what better time than the playoffs. Unfortunately, the Mavericks may be without a healthy Chandler Parsons, which would render the Rondo point mute if he isn’t at full strength. Rondo could average a triple-double, but without the size and versatility in Parsons on the wing, the Mavericks could get run out of the gym by the Rockets.

11. Toronto Raptors (49-33) 4th In Eastern Conference

The Raptors took advantage of the horribleness of the Atlantic Division, easily the worst in basketball and possibly in sports. When you get to play the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers eight times a season, and you toss in the Celtics and Nets, you basically get at least 10 wins right off the bat. They don’t make the schedule though, and took advantage of what was given to them by winning the Atlantic and earning the fourth seed.

Unfortunately, the Raptors cannot control injuries and that has done in what looked like a promising season. DeMar DeRozan missed 22 games, and Kyle Lowry cannot get his back problem figured out recently. Without those two operating at a high level, the Raptors are sitting ducks in the playoffs. They will struggle to defeat the Wizards, who have problems of their own but have more of a supporting cast to overcome their deficiencies.

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