Power Rankings Watch: Next stop, playoffs

Jeff Gross

In the final power rankings of the season, the Clippers are third to the Spurs and the Thunder in the opinion of most.

By any reasonable measure, the Clippers are one of the top three teams in the NBA as the regular season comes to a close. As you can see in the table of metrics below, they remain second to the Spurs in most advanced statistical measures, and are third in winning percentage. But given that the other top three team, the Thunder, beat the Clippers in LA last week, it seems perfectly reasonable to rank the Thunder second and the Clippers third. It's kind of a no-brainer.

So imagine my surprise when the first two power rankings I read this week had the Heat passing the Clippers into third.

The Clippers did lose that game to the Thunder, and they had a light week of only two games scheduled, so a 1-1 week isn't that great. And what did the Heat do during the week? One win, three losses.

So yeah, forget it. There is no logic in this place. In fact, with better things to do as the season winds down, several rankings simply didn't publish this week. And this will certainly be the final Power Rankings Watch of the season here at Clips Nation.

Third best team in the league doesn't get you a lot, and when the other two teams are both in the same conference, there's really no guarantee of playoff success. But no matter how you look at it, it's been a pretty great regular season for the Clippers.

The average ranking for this week (after tossing out the lowest ranking and highest ranking) is 3.2.

Source Pundit Rank(LAC) Comment
ESPN.com Marc Stein 4 The Clippers would naturally welcome the West's No. 3 seed if you could promise them good health in the playoffs. The problem, of course, is that no one has promised anything of the sort. Jamal Crawford is back, but Danny Granger is still out and J.J. Redick doesn't look comfortable yet.
Yahoo.com Marc Spears N/A No rankings this week
CBS Sports Matt Moore 4 They've come a long way. I mean, most of it was lateral and they didn't actually end up much better than when they started, but a lot of stuff happened.
SI.com Matt Dollinger 3 If it's possible to be a "sleeping contender" with two MVP candidates, a title-winning coach and a team chock-full of playoff-tested players, the Clippers are pulling it off. If Blake Griffin's regular-season dominance carries over to the postseason, the Clippers might be able to pull off something even bigger.
ProBasketballTalk Kurt Helin 3 This looks like a team finally defending, a team finally on the cusp of contending, but they will draw a brutal first round matchup with Golden State. Beat them and you likely land OKC in the second round. Ouch. The three Clipper perimeter players recently battling injury - J.R. Redick, Jamal Crawford and Danny Granger - all need to be back and playing well for the Clippers to have a chance to advance beyond that.
NBA.com John Schuhmann 3 The Clippers rank seventh defensively overall, but 21st in games against teams with winning records, at 106.8 points per 100 possessions in 42 games. And the Mavs and Warriors - two potential first-round opponents - have been two of the teams they've had the toughest time stopping. Stephen Curry shot a ridiculous 17-for-29 from 3-point range in four games against the Clips.
NBA.com David Aldridge 3 Best regular-season record in franchise history with a win in either of its last two games.
SB Nation Jason Patt 3 Blake Griffin is wrapping up the finest season of his young career, and he'll likely wind up in the third slot on many MVP ballots.
Sheridan Hoops Kamenetsky Brothers N/A No rankings this week
USA Today N/A No rankings this week

WP RPI MOV SRS Hollinger NetRtg
Total .700 .557 7.08 7.34 107.829 7.5
Rank 3 3 2 2 2 2
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