The Clippers dropped in most Power Rankings lists this week, which is pretty strange if you consider that two close road losses to good teams are hardly any indication that the team was previously overrated. Matt Dollinger at Sports Illustrated gets the "overreaction of the week" award for dropping the Clippers from 5th to 9th.
As you can see at the bottom of the page, there are plenty of reasons to suspect that the Clippers might be better than sixth, but it's pretty hard to make a statistical case for lower than that.
The average ranking for the week (after tossing out the highest ranking and the lowest ranking) is an even 7.
|Eric Bledsoe makes a triumphant return to Clipperland on Monday night with the Suns sitting just one victory shy of their first 10-win December since 2007-08. There to greet him will be Blake Griffin fresh off the first 40-point game assembled by The Griffin Force since his rookie season.
|Blake Griffin entered this season a 61.1 percent career free-throw shooter, but has made 80.6 percent over his past eight games.
|Think Blake Griffin was mad about being wrongly ejected on Christmas? He shot 27 times and scored 35 points the next night against the Blazers, then dropped a season-high 40 in a win over the unsuspecting Jazz. Maybe Blake Griffin should play angry more often.
|They seem a lot more like a middle-of-the-pack Western Conference team than a top-tier one. They have a lot of ground to cover in the second half, even if the standings don't show it.
|Blake Griffin has averaged 28.4 points and 11.4 rebounds over his last seven games and has scored 30-plus in the last three games that he hasn't been wrongly ejected from. His perimeter shooting hasn't been consistent, but he has shot 37.2 percent from outside the paint for the season, a mark which is just below the league average (37.6) and up from 33.8 percent last season.
|If the Clips are interested in Andrew Bynum, that would be a step backwards. If he couldn't handle playing for a team where there were no expectations, how would he handle returning to L.A. and being viewed as a contender's final piece?
|I highlighted Blake Griffin's strong play in last week's power rankings, and he only did better this past week, although the Clippers did go just 1-2. Griffin scored 75 points in his last two outings and is now averaging a tick under 22 points per game.
|They've quietly improved defensively over the course of the season, and should get better on the perimeter once J.J. Redick is back. Meanwhile, no player in the league creates more O than Chris Paul.
|They were 12-5 with J.J. Redick and are 9-6 without him. That difference could make or break a title run.