Explaining the latest Power Rankings

I get this question a lot from Power Rankings consumers in San Antonio, Miami and Los Angeles:

How can you rank the Mavs ahead of the Spurs/Heat/Lakers?

Here's how:

Dallas' win in Orlando on Tuesday not only hiked its record in the second games of back-to-backs to 5-0 but is also the Mavs' 12th victory already this season against teams with records of .500 or better.

Through Wednesday, the Mavs are tops in the league in that category with a record of 12-3. Boston is second at 11-2, followed by the Spurs (10-2) and Utah (8-7).

In short? Quality wins help separate the teams at the top and the Mavs -- even if you're still not ready to buy into the notion that this team has more playoff promise than the teams ousted in the first round in three of the last four seasons -- have racked up a bunch already.

A 10-1 road record doesn't hurt its case, either, as Dallas continues to defy NBA reason by getting more consistency from the role players surrounding Dirk Nowitzki away from American Airlines Center than it gets in home games. Latest example: Caron Butler led six Mavs in double figures with 20 points in the Orlando win.