The LA Clippers had a bit of a rough week. They went .500, easily winning two games against the Washington Wizards and the Memphis Grizzlies, but losing in embarrassing fashion to those same Grizzlies (in the first of their two-game series) and blowing a close game to the Milwaukee Bucks. As a result, national NBA writers across the internet all downgraded the Clippers in their weekly power rankings.
Previous rank: No. 4
Mo Dakhil cited the Clippers weaknesses in the paint—both offensively and defensively. Additionally, LA struggled at getting to the free throw line and getting out in transition in their two losses. Dakhil concludes that the Clippers need to find easier ways to score their points. The Clippers slid below the Lakers and 76ers in Bleacher Report’s rankings.
Previous rank: No. 3
Colin Ward-Henninger also gave the Clippers a demerit for their poor late-game execution against the Bucks. He even compared the loss to LA’s infamous collapse in last year’s playoff bubble. He also theorizes about the Clippers’ hunt for a playmaking point guard. Those same Bucks bypassed LA for the No. 3 spot, soaring six spots up from last week’s rankings to get there.
Previous Rank: No. 2
Ohm Youngmisuk, like his peers, pointed to the Clippers blowing an eight-point lead down the stretch of their loss to Milwaukee as the main reason for their downgrade, even quoting Kawhi Leonard’s frustration with the loss. The Clippers were passed by the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers in ESPN’s rankings.
Previous rank: No. 5
John Schuhmann dove into the numbers behind the Clippers late-game struggles, pointing out the fact that they rank 29th in the league in both shots taken within the first six seconds of the shot clock and shots in the restricted area. However, Hollinger also pointed out that the Clippers have three of the top four corner three-point shooters in the NBA (Paul George, Marcus Morris Sr. and Leonard). NBA.com also slid the Bucks above the Clippers in their ranking.
The Clippers’ clutch issues are becoming more glaring as the season progresses, and the national media continues to put pressure on LA’s front office to trade for a true point guard that can execute efficient offense in crucial moments. And yet, it is entirely possible that LA bounces back from this semi-slump and proves these doubters wrong.