As expected, the Dallas Mavericks enjoyed another winning week (2-1, 8-4 overall on the season) by beating opponents it should beat and losing to quality teams.

Dallas collected wins over New Orleans and San Antonio but looked out of Chicago’s league in a double-digit loss to the ‘now back’ Bulls. With last week’s action in the books, it’s time to jump into the weekly edition of rising and falling.

Here are the ground rules: the rankings are based on the previous week of play, overall impact, efficiency, and quotable moments. If a player is left off the list, assume their position isn’t rising or falling.

Let’s jump into it.

Rising:

1.) Kristaps Porzingis.

Week four averages: 22 points | 9 rebounds | 1.3 blocks | 47% FG | 45% 3FG.

The breakdown: It appears that Porzingis is finally turning the corner when it comes to his on-court production. He started the year off slow, but he’s proved valuable to Dallas’ success since returning from his back injury. During three games last week, that was no different. And to top it all off, against San Antonio, he finally broke the lid on his offensive prowess – scoring 32 points from all levels on the floor.

Moment of the week: 

2.) Dorian Finney-Smith.

Week four averages: 8.6 points | 4 rebounds | 2.7 steals | 43% FG | 43% 3FG. 

The breakdown: Poor shooting led many to question Finney-Smith’s validity as a starter this season. In the three games last week, he appeared primed to break out of his slump. And against San Antonio,  he scored 15 points on 6-10 from the field and three made 3-pointers. For Dallas to be a dangerous team, Finney-Smith needs to be a viable outside threat. He knows they will double Luka Doncic. And after his solid performance against San Antonio, he let it be known that he will be ready to knock down his open looks.

Moment of the week: 

3.) Jalen Brunson. 

Week four averages: 15.3 points | 5.3 assists | 51% FG | 13.43 GmSc. 

The breakdown: Consistency must be Brunson’s middle name because that’s all he’s been this season. He isn’t shooting the 3-ball as well as last season, but he’s taking more off the dribble. And he’s scoring more points as a result. Jason Kidd has empowered Brunson to be the best version of himself within Dallas’ offense. In elevating his role, Brunson has seemingly become Dallas’ most consistent offensive contributor.

Moment of the week: 

Falling: 

1.) Sterling Brown.

Week four averages: 2.7 points | 3.3 rebounds | 30% FG | 33% 3FG. 

The breakdown: Brown was supposed to be another versatile wing who, when left open, could knock down open shots. That just hasn’t been the case this season, and it’s not from a lack of opportunity. Simply put, he just hasn’t made shots he used to make in Houston. His defense has added value to his production in the second unit, but if shots don’t start falling soon, he may be unplayable when games begin to matter more.

Moment of the week: N/A.

2.) Dwight Powell. 

Week four averages: 8 points | 5.3 rebounds | 75% FG | 9.8 GmSc. 

The breakdown: Powell isn’t the answer for Dallas at the starting center position. The best version of this team has Porzingis playing the five and Powell coming off the bench. Nonetheless, Kidd has stuck by his decision to start Powell, but his production hasn’t warranted the starting spot. He’s good as an energy player, who plays short bursts, and connects with Doncic on a few lobs on dives to the basket. He isn’t a long-term starting big in this league.

Moment of the week: 

This week at a glance: 

This week will be Dallas’ first real litmus test. On Monday night, Dallas plays Denver – a team that beat the Mavs by 20-plus. On Wednesday and Friday, Dallas plays the reigning Western Conference champions in Phoenix. Lastly, on Sunday Dallas plays the LA Clippers, winners of seven of its last eight games. If Dallas wins two of four games, consider it a successful stretch of basketball.

Related Mavericks reading: 

“Have Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis become the new duo in Dallas?” 

“Porzingis sets the tone and Doncic takes it home against San Antonio.” 

Feature image via Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports.