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How's the national media viewing the Clippers? (Does it matter?)

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Rankings Roundup

Outlet

Ranker

Ranking

Change

Comment

ESPN

Marc Stein

6

+1

On the one hand, you're completely justified when you question the wisdom of surrendering a first-round pick for Jeff Green when pretty much the same trade in January 2015 did not have the desired effect for Memphis. On the other hand: Doc Rivers hasn't seen a small forward score 30 points in nearly 300 games, dating back to Caron Butler in November 2012. The Clips had to try something.

CBS Sports

Matt Moore

6

0

With Festus Ezeli and Andrew Bogut out, falling to the Warriors was the first loss that really hurt not to have Blake Griffin. That was such a prime opportunity to at least build some confidence vs. the defending champs. Alas, Griffin could not lend a hand.

NBA.com

John Schuhman

5

+1

Jeff Green would seemingly be an important addition, especially with his ability to play the four until Blake Griffin returns. But Green was seemingly a good addition in Boston and Memphis too, and never moved the needle in either place. Speaking of not moving the needle, the other Clippers starters have nearly identical numbers with Paul Pierce at the four as they did with Blake Griffin at the four.

SI

Jeremy Woo

5

+2

Beating a sloppy Kawhi-less Spurs team didn’t move the needle too much for me, but playing the Warriors close and staging a high-velocity comeback certainly did. A much softer next week is on tap for the Clippers, who are suddenly not too far behind the Thunder for the No. 3 spot in the West

Basically the national media respects the Clippers and their ability to remain pretty damn good in face of Blake Griffin being out. There's also a similar reaction among the media to the Jeff Green trade as seen on ClipsNation for the most part: it's an understandable deal, but not one that excites anyone.

Metrics Watch

Metric Number Ranking
Win Percentage .650 6th
Margin of Victory +4.1 6th
Net Rating +5.3 5th
Offensive Rating 106.3 5th
Defensive Rating 101.0 8th
Pace 98.26 13th
Opponent FG% .438 5th

Aside from some basic ones, I picked out some that may interest. The Clippers have a association wide ranking in many key stats that are both similar to their actual record and media perception in the power rankings.  Basically, the Clippers are pretty damn good...just not a member of the elite.

Parting Thoughts

Power rankings are more-or-less just an indicator of a team's momentum. It is encouraging to see the national perception of the Clippers being one that recognizes/respects their ability to be in the title contending talk. For now, it does seem the Clippers remain on the outside looking in until they can prove a bit more consistency or a tad higher ceiling of play.

Meanwhile, as the national spotlight credits the Clippers' play, it's also worth pondering whether this means the national writers will be giving more consideration to Chris Paul in their MVP votes. While I get that most people are going to slobber over Steph Curry because of his amazing season and his team's amazing success, it's undeniable that his supporting cast has been consistently there for him. A recognized (and debated) factor in MVP votes is how much a player means to his team. CP3 is undeniably carrying the Clippers right now as Blake Griffin is sidelined. Thus a question is whether the MVP award should just be given to the best player on the best team, or whether a player's specific value to his team (and arguably a better evaluation of his individual abilities) is more important.