It's no surprise that the Los Angeles Clippers dropped some in the Power Rankings this week. When Chris Paul dropped to the floor in Dallas on Friday, and his shoulder joint dropped out of its socket, their chances of winning lots of games dropped as well. In some ways it's surprising that the Clippers didn't drop more than they did in the various Power Rankings out there; where they were mostly in the 6-7-8 range last week, now they're in the 7-8-9 range.
Both last week and this week, Matt Moore of CBS Sports is an outlier, ranking the Clippers at least two full spots below any other pundit -- he's the East German judge of NBA Power Rankings. He doesn't even give a plausible reason this week. I might have accepted "This team is nothing without Chris Paul." But to single out the defense as the showstopper? The defense that is ranked higher than Miami's on the season and is ranked third in the NBA over the last seven weeks?
It's also interesting to me that so many of the rankings mention the San Antonio loss -- the Phoenix loss happened this week and was much more disconcerting.
In various empirical measures, the Clippers are pretty much seventh in the league as of now. Of course, the data that went into those metrics were compiled mostly with the services of Chris Paul.
The average ranking for the week (after tossing out the highest ranking and
Matt Moore's the lowest ranking) is an even 8.
|The good news: Blake Griffin happens to be playing the best ball of his career at a time when the Clippers suddenly have to weather six weeks without Chris Paul. The bad news dose of reality: Since CP3's arrival, L.A. is 109-55 when its peerless point guard is in the lineup ... and just 10-10 without him.
|The Clippers will be without point guard Chris Paul for up to six weeks because of a shoulder injury. The offseason signing of point guard Darren Collison will pay off.
|Doc Rivers says the Blake Griffin trade rumors are stupid. You know what else is stupid? Trying to win a title with this defense as constructed.
|Pro Basketball Talk
|Route at hands of Spurs shows what life without Chris Paul could be like - even with relatively soft schedule L.A. is not same without him. This stretch of roughly 20 games with out Paul will cost them in the final NBA standings, making a playoff run that much harder.
|The Clips hung on to beat the Mavs after Chris Paul was injured on Friday, but they got spanked without him in San Antonio on Saturday. Amazingly, they play 10 of their next 12 games against the East, which could be good or bad news. It's good that Paul won't miss many games against their competition for a top seed in the West. But they were only 7-6 against the East when Paul was healthy.
|Darren Collison checks in to save the season.
|It's not a good time to be a stud NBA point guard. Derrick Rose is out for the year again. Russell Westbrook had a third surgery in eight months. Kyrie Irving is dealing with a knee problem. Rajon Rondo is still recovering from an ACL tear. Deron Williams has had ankle problems. Now, Chris Paul is out up to six weeks because of a shoulder injury. Have we angered the Basketball Gods or something?
|With CP3 out for over a month, a top-4 seed in the West is very unlikely. If Saturday's loss to San Antonio is any indication, the big question is how far they slide down the playoff ladder.
|So, about trading Eric Bledsoe ...