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Power Rankings Watch: Where do the Clippers stand?

The Clippers battled through a brutal three-week scheduling stretch and came out 5-4. Here’s where the Clippers stand in the eyes of the NBA media after their first nine games.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Editor’s Note: These power rankings came out on Monday and therefore don’t take into account the Clippers’ game against the Wolves. There was just too much else going on yesterday for this to get the views/attention it was due as the return of a long-standing series here at Clips Nation, so we published it today instead.

NBA writers, prognosticators, GMs, and others were pretty torn on the Clippers coming into the 2018-19 season. Many understood the talent and depth this team had, but many were also concerned about the lack of a true star and the potential injury problems that always seem to plague L.A. The general consensus, before the season started, seemed to be that the Clippers would be a 9-11 seed in the West and that Tobias Harris would take the next step into being a potential max-contract guy come next summer.

While the latter looks like it has come true after nine games, the Clippers are playing better basketball than people thought. Eight out of their first nine games came against teams who had winning records last year. Seven out of the nine came against Western Conference foes, in which six of those teams made the playoffs last season. The Clippers are holding their own and playing an exciting brand of basketball that makes for some fun TV. Despite a 1-2 record last week, including a complete meltdown against the OKC Thunder, the Clips are still impressing. We have compiled the Clippers power rankings across six different sports news outlets for the week starting Nov. 5. Let’s see where they stand.

Sports Illustrated

This week: 13th, Last week: 13th

Notes: “Orlando might be the perfect place to end a road trip. You get to see Disney World and there’s a good chance you end your travels with a victory. An astonishingly bad third quarter in Oklahoma City got this week off to a bad start for the Clippers, but playing the Magic allowed the week to end on a higher note.”

This week: 9th, Last week: 9th

Notes: “Among the Clippers’ 20 most-used two-man combinations, the best (in regard to on-court point differential per 100 possessions) has been The Bobi and Tobi Show, with the Clips having outscored their opponents by 25.3 with buddies Boban Marjanovic and Tobias Harris on the floor together. Marjanovic got the second start of his career in Orlando on Friday and Marcin Gortat was out of the rotation completely, but it was again bench minutes that got the Clips back over .500 after a couple of ugly offensive games in Oklahoma City and Philadelphia. The Clips are near the bottom of the league in 3-point rate (only 28 percent of their shots have come from beyond the arc), but at the very top in free throw rate (35 attempts per 100 shots from the field), even though team-leader Lou Williams’ 5.8 attempts per game rank just 20th in the league.”

Bleacher Report

This week: 13th, Last week: 14th

Notes: “It’s hard to know how much stock to put into blowout wins over the reeling Rockets and Wizards, but those big-margin victories (by an average of 26 points) go a long way toward juicing a team’s net rating. Add that to the pile of stats that make L.A.’s true talent level unclear.

Another example: The Clips are limiting opponents to one of the lowest effective field-goal percentages in the league, but they’re allowing more attempts at the rim than anyone. Considering L.A. doesn’t have a real rim-protector (low-minute marvel Boban Marjanovic excluded), it seems unlikely the overall defensive performance will continue to rank in the top 10.”


This week: 14th, Last week: 16th

Notes: “The Clips salvaged their three-game road trip last week with a drubbing of Orlando. Boban Marjanovic, the NBA’s biggest folk hero -- both literally and figuratively -- played more than 20 minutes in each of the past two games for the first time since the end of the 2016-17 season, recording a pair of double-doubles. Among the 10 guys in the Clippers’ regular rotation, Boban leads in both net rating and player efficiency rating.”

Sporting News

This week: 12th, Last week: N/A

Notes: “The reserves have been especially effective for the Clippers, who have two players — Lou Williams (16.7) and Montrezl Harrell (13.0) ranked in the top 18 in bench scoring this season.”

CBS Sports

This week: 14th, Last week: 16th

Notes: “The Clippers have a top-six defense in the NBA, and a net rating that’s better than the Celtics, Spurs, Jazz and Thunder. Do not be surprised when this team is still in the playoff hunt with a few weeks left in the regular season.”