The Clippers came out of the All Star break with disappointing loss against the Spurs and the Grizzlies -- and then almost made up for that with a huge win over the Thunder. As a result, the rankarazzi has left them about where they've been, around the five or six slot (closer to six than five right now). Which is fine. It's tough to justify having the Clippers above the big four (Heat, Pacers, Thunder and Spurs) and the Rockets are hot right now, so for the time being, sixth is probably where I'd rank them also. They'll have a chance to cool off the Rockets Wednesday night and we'll see how the ranking shake out next week after that game.
The data metrics are all over the map right now. The Clippers RPI is solid but dropping, but it is heavily dependent on wins and losses and eventually everyone plays more or less the same schedule, so it won't differ much from the standings (at least until you start getting to the non-elite East teams). On the other hand, the Clippers have risen to the top spot in the Hollinger rankings on ESPN.com, which is a bit of a head scratcher. The Clippers margin of victory is up to third best in the league and starting to close the gap on the Thunder in second. But I'm hard-pressed to find a formula that would rank the Clippers ahead of the Thunder this season, short of head-to-head results.
The Clippers can easily be projected to be near the top of the league if you're an optimist. They just added the most coveted free agent of the buyout season in Glen Davis, and they haven't been at full strength in over 40 games, though they'll have J.J. Redick back soon. With a soft stretch of schedule coming up, Big Baby on board and Redick potentially back soon, the Clippers should be trending up in these rankings in the coming weeks.
The average ranking for the week (after tossing out the highest ranking and the lowest ranking) is 5.75.
|One of the more interesting discrepancies that the committee (of one) can remember. Impressive as the Clips were to win a duel at OKC pitting two teams in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, I'm not sure how L.A. could be No. 1 like the Hollinger System says.
|New forward Glen Davis could make his Clippers debut Monday night at New Orleans. "Big Baby" adds size, scoring and rebounding.
|I thought they were sunk after the Grizzlies loss but beating the Thunder in OKC was mighty impressive. That keeps them top five.
|For a title contender, the Clippers have been awfully suspect (15-15) on the road. Their struggles caught the eye of Chris Paul and Doc Rivers after recent losses at Golden State, Denver and Memphis. But an impressive win at Oklahoma City on Sunday is a nice performance from which to build.
|Pro Basketball Talk
|After watching the Clippers get ground down by Memphis then beating Oklahoma City thanks to their offense (nobody played good defense that game) I still have this question: Will the Clippers get out of the first round? Glen Davis will help in that regards, he is a huge upgrade over Ryan Hollins, currently the first big off the bench.
|Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan have been the second most-used two-man combination in the league, so Glen Davis, at least, provides a little playing-time relief. The hope is that he'll also help the defense, which has suffered whenever Griffin or Jordan has sat down. The offense looked just fine in Oklahoma City on Sunday, as the Clips got a much needed win after losing to the Spurs and Grizz.
|Big Baby Davis, obviously, a major upgrade over Ryan Hollins and Byron Mullens for backup center/power forward minutes.
|The Clippers redeemed their week by going into Oklahoma City and delivering a second straight home loss to the Thunder. Jamal Crawford did his thing, scoring 36 points and pouring in several clutch buckets.
|Sunday's big win over OKC notwithstanding, unless they can clean up their defensive inconsistencies, moving up in the West will be tricky.
|Does Glen Davis have the hops to join the "Lob City" alley-oop parade?