What's the best thing that can happen to a team if they want to move up in the weekly power rankings? Well, the second best thing is they can play well. After a 3-0 week last week, the Clippers moved up a spot. The best thing thing is for the teams ahead of them in the rankings to play poorly. The Clippers had another 3-0 week -- and moved up more than two spots on average, because several teams ahead of them had suffered disastrous weeks.
With Indiana (four straight losses), Miami (two straight) and Oklahoma City (two straight including to the lowly Lakers) all on losing streaks, the Clippers were among a group of three west teams who filled the void at the top of the rankings.
And honestly, how you want to rank the Spurs (six straight wins, best record in the NBA, defending Western Conference Champs), Rockets (five straight wins including victories over the Heat, Pacers and Blazers this week alone) and Clippers (seven straight wins and a sweep of all the advanced metrics) is up to you -- there's no wrong answer as long as those three are the top three right now (which makes USA Today's ranker flat wrong). For what it's worth, if I were ranking those three right now, I'd go Spurs, Clippers, Rockets.
The average ranking for the week (after tossing out the highest ranking and the lowest ranking) is 2.5.
|ESPN.com||Marc Stein||2||You can live with the Clips letting those nosediving Hawks hang around Saturday night when you remember Blake Griffin & Co. had won their previous six games by an average margin of 19.5 points. Especially when Atlanta had Paul Millsap back in the lineup after the All-Star missed five games.|
|Yahoo.com||Marc Spears||3||The Clippers have won a season-high seven straight games. Los Angeles has scored more than 100 points in 20 straight games.|
|CBS Sports||Matt Moore||3||A team with hot buzz but lacking postseason credentials. But this ranking has nothing to do with the postseason.|
|SI.com||Matt Dollinger||1||Even if buyout additions Danny Granger and Glen Davis don't work out, the Clippers possess as much talent as anyone. But if the veterans do become valuable contributors, Los Angeles will be scary deep come playoff time.|
|Pro Basketball Talk||Kurt Helin||2||Which team has the highest net efficiency rating (differential between points scored and points allowed per 100 possessions)? The Clippers and Thunder are tied at +7.7 per 100. That stat is also a very good indicator of who wins in the playoffs, although the Clippers inflated that number with some blowouts. They have won seven in a row, but the differential number suggests they are at least knocking on that door of contender status.|
|NBA.com||John Schuhmann||2||The Clips certainly like to pour it on, so much that they're responsible for the four lowest single-game plus-minus marks of the season ... in four different games. They've benefited from playing 19 games (most in the league) with rest against a team on the second night of a back-to-back. They still have six more of those, including games against the Suns and Warriors this week.|
|NBA.com||David Aldridge||2||Season-best seven-game win streak has the Clips in the hunt for best record in the West.|
|SB Nation||Jason Patt||3||The Clippers have won seven games in a row and now own the league's best average point differential thanks to a 48-point stomping of the Lakers.|
|Sheridan Hoops||Kamenetsky Brothers||3||No team in the NBA has a better point differential than the LAC. CP3 and Griffin are an elite pairing, Davis shores the frontline. The concerns now are about health, particularly Crawford and Redick.|
|USA Today||3||Blake Griffin has topped 20 points in 23 consecutive games. As a reminder, he is the Clippers' second-best player.|