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Power Rankings Watch: How Are The Clippers Faring in Week 11

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After a 1-1 week, including a big Xmas day victory over the Lakers, let’s see where the Clippers rank in the eyes of NBA media members

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Clippers Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

ESPN

This week: 3, Last week: 3

Notes: They won the game that mattered last week, or at least that’s probably how their fan base feels. The Christmas Day win over the Lakers was played at an extremely high level and obviously the Clippers put a lot into it. They followed it up with a pretty lackluster performance a couple of days later against the Jazz, which drops them to 3-4 in their past seven. Against Utah they scored only 15 points in the fourth quarter, a continuation of a mildly concerning recent fourth-quarter trend. In those past seven games, the Clippers have a 100.6 offensive rating in the fourth quarter, down almost 17 points per 100 possessions from the rest of the game.

CBS Sports

This week: 4, Last week: 4

Notes: After once again asserting their L.A. superiority against the Lakers on Christmas, the Clippers dropped a home game to the Jazz on Saturday. The team continues to play up and down as Doc Rivers attempts to figure out the rotations for what is now almost a completely healthy roster (Montrezl Harrell missed the loss to the Jazz due to illness). The Christmas game proved, however, that when the Clippers are clicking they’re the best team in the NBA.

NBA.com

This week: 4, Last week: 4

Notes: The Clippers made their Christmas Day statement and improved to 2-0 against the Lakers by holding their arena-mates to just five points (on 2-for-11 shooting) over the final 6 1/2 minutes, with Patrick Beverley coming up with the game-sealing stop against LeBron James. But their defense has otherwise been shaky, even with both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard on the floor, as they’ve lost four of their last seven games. Leonard’s offense is coming along. He has an effective field goal percentage of 56% over his last eight games (up from 48% over his first 17), even though he still isn’t getting to the basket much. He has finished better at the rim and shot much better from beyond the arc. His 3-pointer to tie the Christmas game with 5:15 left looked pretty familiar, and he continues to make plays for others at a much higher rate than in any of his previous eight seasons.

Bleacher Report

This week: 3, Last week: 3

Notes: LeBron James’ compromised health makes the comparison a little unfair, and it’s probably too early to think in these terms. But it was hard to ignore the magnitude of Kawhi Leonard’s impact in Wednesday’s meeting of the two Los Angeles teams with matching title aspirations. Leonard was the best player on the floor in the Clips’ 111-106 win over the Lakers on Christmas, pumping in 35 points on 11-of-19 shooting along with 12 rebounds and five assists—all while serving as the primary defender on James.

The Lakers have several rangy backcourt stoppers, but none bring the bulk required to bother Leonard. And if James isn’t healthy enough to take on the challenge, Leonard effectively gets to do what he wants on offense. By proving he also had the stamina to stymie the Lakers’ most important weapon on defense, Leonard reminded everyone that he’s the guy who’ll swing a potential playoff series between these two teams. The Clips couldn’t follow their Wednesday win, falling by a final of 120-107 to the Utah Jazz on Saturday to close out a short week. Consistency has been tough to muster for L.A. recently. It’s just 4-4 in its last eight games, alternating wins and losses throughout that stretch.

The Athletic

This week: 6, Last week: 6

Notes: What’s happening with the Clippers? Big showing on Christmas Day for the Clippers when they took out the Lakers. They controlled the second half, much like in the first game of the season. That was the kind of win that would normally vault them up to the top spot in the Power Rankings in a given week… had they taken care of business at home against Utah to close out the week. Instead, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George laid an absolute egg. Maybe their New Year’s resolution should be figuring out how to help PG score against Joe Ingles.

New Year’s resolution: Hit the boards. When the Clippers are at full strength this season, they look like championship material. But their concerns about a lack of presence in the middle persist. Montrezl Harrell is a fantastic offensive weapon. Ivica Zubac is developing into a high quality role player at starting center. However, this team tends to lose the rebounding battle when it loses games. A big part of its offensive success comes from offensive rebounding. The Clippers have to ensure they dominate the boards to dominate the league.

Sports Illustrated

This week: 3, Last Week: N/A

Notes: Paul George could be in line for some rest in the coming weeks. The former Pacers and Thunder star admitted on Saturday he’s been “shying away from contact” this season, and his reticence to attack has led to a string of poor shooting performances. George is shooting 31.8% in his last four games. A night off may help get him on track.

Yahoo Sports

This week: 1, Last week: 3

Notes: The Clippers not only have two of the league’s best players in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. But they also feature one of its toughest in Patrick Beverley who should be a virtual lock at this point for a spot on the All-NBA Defensive First Team.