NBA Power Rankings Roundup: LA Clippers Rise and Fall After Another Solid Week

The Clippers have been taking care of business on their road trip, and the national media has taken note.
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The Clippers had quite the scare when it was revealed that Paul George and Kawhi Leonard would be missing time due to COVID-19 contact tracing.

Their timeline was unclear, LA was in the midst of a seven-game winning streak and they were about to embark on an East-Coast road trip. Without their two stars for an uncertain amount of time, the Clippers could’ve easily slid and lost all the momentum they’d been building to start the season. But as it turned out, George and Leonard only missed two games, and the Clippers went 1-1 in those games (their only loss was a close one to the Atlanta Hawks). After that, LA kept trucking along, taking care of business in Orlando and New York.

This 3-1 record catapulted the Clippers to No.1 in some NBA power rankings, but they dropped on other lists due to excellent play from other contenders.

Bleacher Report: No. 3

Previous Rank: No. 1

Mo Dakhil dropped the Clippers by two spots, but he clarified that it was more of a compliment to the teams that jumped them (the Jazz and the 76ers) than a dimeret to the Clippers. The Clippers may have only lost one game throughout the week, but Dakhil points out that none of the teams they beat had a winning record.

CBS Sports: No. 3

Previous Rank: No. 2

Colin Ward-Henninger gave credit to Reggie Jackson, who stepped up in Patrick Beverley’s absence. Ward-Henninger also had the Jazz and 76ers ahead of the Clippers, though they were the inverse of Bleacher Report’s rankings. He deemed it a positive outcome that the Clippers were able to win one of their two games without George and Leonard.

ESPN: No. 1

Previous Rank: No. 2

Ohm Youngmisuk credited the Clippers’ growing chemistry for their promotion to first place in ESPN’s rankings. The Clippers knocked off their crosstown rival Lakers, who were at the top of the rankings last week, but whose first two-game losing streak of the season cost them the top spot in Dave McMenamin’s eyes. No. 1

Previous Rank: No. 2

John Schuhmann also crowned LA with the No. 1 slot, again knocking the Lakers down a peg to get there. Schuhmann noted George and Leonard’s ridiculous efficiency, citing that both players are currently members of the 50/40/90 percentage club. He hopes that Luke Kennard will get more minutes playing alongside Leonard and George, and is excited to see the Clippers matchups against two Eastern Conference contenders in the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics next week.

As we all are. Clippers-Celtics has been extremely entertaining in their last two matchups, and the Nets might be the most star-studded team in the league, regardless of their shaky defense. The Clippers will also have two games next week in which they will be heavily favored, facing off against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Sacramento Kings. If the Clippers can prove themselves against two upper-echelon squads and take care of business against two inferior teams, they should hold on to their top-3 spots across the internet. 

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