The Clippers recently went on a lengthy 11-game winning streak that boosted their stats and grabbed the attention of much of the national media. The result was some high rankings across the board last week (everyone had the Clippers at either 1 or 2 last week). However, the Spurs appear to be the new darling of the national media, as they've continued their winning ways and pushed their streak to 13 games.
In fact, the Spurs have jumped the Clippers in some of the advanced stats as well, notably ending the Clippers' relatively long reign atop John Hollinger's power rankings and playoff odds. They've even seized the margin of victory lead spot.
The Clippers can't be too concerned about the Spurs for now, though. We've known for weeks that there was virtually no chance of catching San Antonio for the one seed, and the Clippers wouldn't see them until at least the second round of the playoffs, and possibly the conference finals.
The main thing to watch right now is the race for the second seed. While the loss against Denver last week certainly hurt, the Clippers still have a shot at catching the Thunder, who are three games ahead in the loss column. At the same time, watch the battle for seeding in the bottom half of the playoff picture. If it becomes apparent in the next couple of weeks how the 6 and 7 seeds will shake out, the Clippers could attempt to maneuver themselves into a more favorable first round match-up.
The average ranking for this week (after tossing out the lowest ranking and highest ranking) is 2.3.
|ESPN.com||Marc Stein||2||J.J. Redick is back at practice, raising hope that the Clips will see him again this season and softening the blow after the ol' Power Rankings Jinx struck again. No word yet when Redick might return for real, but you'd swap the No. 1 slot for your best shooter every day. And twice on Mondays.|
|Yahoo.com||Marc Spears||2||The Clippers are hopeful J.J. Redick, who is averaging 15.7 points and has been out since Jan. 3 with a back injury, could return soon.|
|CBS Sports||Matt Moore||3||The Denver loss was a weird one, but they snapped back immediately. A lot is falling into place for the Clips at the right time.|
|SI.com||Matt Dollinger||2||Losing at Denver to complete a back-to-back is about as acceptable as losses get. And even in an off night from Blake Griffin (7-of-25 from the field), the star's improvement this season was abundantly clear. It wasn't the 26 points and 12 rebounds he totaled -- we already know he can do that -- but his 12-of-12 performance at the free-throw line, helping Griffin raise his average to a career-best 70.4 percent.|
|ProBasketballTalk||Kurt Helin||2||Their one loss in their last 13 gems was the second night of a back-to-back at altitude at Denver - that's a schedule maker's loss. The chemistry between Chris Paul and Blake Griffin is at an all-time high now and that (along with much better defense) has been key to the Clippers moving up to contender status.|
|NBA.com||John Schuhmann||2||The Clips' winning streak either fell victim to the 'ol second-night-of-a-back-to-back-in-Denver-after-playing-on-the-West-Coast scenario or their backcourt injuries finally caught up with them. With Darren Collison out with a stomach virus, Reggie Bullock was forced into 11 minutes of fourth-quarter playing time. Both Collison and Jamal Crawford were back for Saturday's win over the Pistons.|
|NBA.com||David Aldridge||-||Rankings not available|
|SB Nation||Jason Patt||3||The Clippers' winning streak finally ended at 11 on the second night of a back-to-back in Denver. I'll forgive them for losing that one.|
|Sheridan Hoops||Kamenetsky Brothers||2||Banged up and still winning. J.J. Redick returned to practice this week, fueling at least some hope he'll be back before the playoffs.|
|USA Today||3||Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan all are in the top 11 in win shares this season.|