Power Rankings Watch: Clippers on the rise

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

It was a good week for the Clippers both on and off the court as they won three games and also signed Danny Granger.

The Clippers had a perfect 3-0 week on the court which included a win over the hottest team in the Western Conference that had been ahead of them in the standings. They may have had an even better week off the court which included the debut of Glen Big Baby Davis and the signing of Danny Granger, two free agents that bolster their depth considerably.

So you would expect them to move up in the Power Rankings this week, which they did -- but only by about one spot. Overall, I'm OK with that. It remains difficult to justify moving the Clippers ahead of the big four, Miami and Indiana in the East, Oklahoma City and San Antonio in the West. It's not an impossible argument to make, and two pundits (both named Matt) currently have the Clippers as the highest rated team in the Western Conference, but an average rating between four and five seems about right at this time. The Clippers could be poised to close the gap on the teams ahead of them (a gap they've already closed in some metrics) but we can wait and see how the next few weeks play out before worrying about whether they've gotten their due respect in Power Rankings.

I will say however that ranking the Clippers below the Rockets (as Marc Spears and the Kamenetsky brothers each did) after a week when the Clippers beat the Rockets and given that the Clippers are now 3-0 against the Rockets head-to-head, seems more than a little wrong. Spears' ranking and comment are particularly bizarre -- in a week in which the Clippers signed Danny Granger, he decides to mention Antawn Jamison's attempts to catch on with a team. That's just weird.

Huge wins over the Sixers and the Pelicans in the last couple of weeks have done wonders for the Clippers margin of victory, which is now the third best in the entire NBA, and just 0.02 points behind that of the Thunder for best in the west. And the Clippers remain darlings of John Hollinger's computer rankings, which has them as the best team in the NBA by a widening margin.

The average ranking for the week (after tossing out the highest ranking and the lowest ranking) is 4.6.

Note: I have updated the chart to include Kurt Helin's rankings at Pro Basketball talk.  The average ranking did not move from 4.6 with his inclusion. -Lucas Hann


Source Pundit Rank(LAC) Comment
ESPN.com Marc Stein 4 The Clips still don't have a third big man and have been signing vets for weeks in hopes of upgrading their wing rotation. But it's hard to find fault with Doc Rivers' roster shuffling now after he turned the roster spots vacated by Antawn Jamison and Byron Mullens into Big Baby Davis and Danny Granger.
Yahoo.com Marc Spears 6 Ex-Clippers forward Antawn Jamison is working out in his hometown of Charlotte in hope of being signed by a team.
CBS Sports Matt Moore 2 Big Baby gonna turn it up.
SI.com Matt Dollinger 3 Coach/VP Doc Rivers has been scouring the league all season for the right veteran pieces to round out his team, but I doubt he ever thought he'd be able to add two names as big as Glen Davis and Danny Granger. The two forwards come to Los Angeles with something to prove -- although they'll have to try to make a positive impact in more limited roles than they're used to.
Pro Basketball Talk Kurt Helin 5 The addition of Danny Granger drew a lot of attention this week, and while he's an upgrade over Antwan Jamison he is not a massive upgrade over Jared Dudley (Dudley has shot better from every spot on the court this season). Glen Davis is the real buyout season steal - he is a massive upgrade over Ryan Hollins and will get as many minutes as he can handle. Is that enough of an upgrade to have the Clips in the Spurs/Thunder class?
NBA.com John Schuhmann 4 The Clippers' improved defensive numbers since Chris Paul's return are skewed by games against the Sixers and Pelicans in which they held two bad teams under 80 points. But they held Houston under a point per possession on Wednesday, keeping James Harden from getting all the way to the basket (with Matt Barnes doing most of the work). Only three of his 16 shots came in the restricted area.
NBA.com David Aldridge 5 They bagged the elephant ... Granger.
SB Nation Jason Patt 5 In a battle of elite big men, it was Blake Griffin who came out on top against Dwight Howard in a 101-93 Clippers victory last Wednesday. Griffin had 23 points and 16 rebounds in the win, one of four straight for L.A.
Sheridan Hoops Kamenetsky Brothers 6 This Danny Granger isn't that Danny Granger, but if he plays well enough to push Matt Barnes to the bench to bolster the 2nd unit, the Clips come out ahead.
USA Today 5 Danny Granger surely would like a Clippers-Pacers Finals and would get a ring either way.

WP MOV RPI SRS Hollinger NetRtg
Total .672 6.48 ..554 6.93 107.746 7.0
Rank 7 3 5 3 1 4
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