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Power Rankings Watch: How Are The Clippers Faring in Week 12?

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After a weird, sloppy 3-1 week for the Clippers, let’s see how they are ranked in the eyes of the NBA media

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New York Knicks v LA Clippers Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images

When I woke up this morning and read a tweet saying the Clippers were 3-1 this week I was honestly surprised. The way the media, Twitter and the Clippers own fans were reacting to the various games this week (and the Jazz loss last weekend) you would have thought we were already plotting for a lottery pick. I’m not exempt from some overzealous tweeting or openly pontificating about trades that could make this team better either. What we saw from LA this week was genuinely concerning on multiple fronts. Even Montrezl Harrell, easily one of the most “team-first” players on the Clippers, called out the team post Grizzlies loss on Saturday, saying that they “aren’t a great team” and that they needed to “wake up.” The Clippers somewhat answered this call the next day against the Knicks, without Kawhi Leonard, beating a scrappy team that shot the hell out of the ball again. I’m not sure that was much of a “wake-up”, considering it was another 12:30 game and they gave up freakin’ 132 points, but a wins a win. Especially whe you consider they had to hit multiple clutch baskets without their two best players in the game.

Let’s just get this out of the way right now. The Clippers are not playing their best ball right now. Not even close. Not even close to close. The good news? Their 26-12 record is the best start for any Doc Rivers coached Clipper team, they hold the 2nd best record in the West still and have a lighter schedule coming up. More good news? The team will be the healthiest it’s been all season after an elongated rest period this week (Sunday-Friday). We will more than likely be seeing only the second game in which the entire roster is healthy. Get your hot takes hot now people, because a healthy Clippers roster is the best in the league. Read it and weep.

Let’s see how NBA media members ranked the Clippers going into week 12 of the season.

ESPN

This week: 4, Last week: 3

Notes: “When you’re a really good team that’s contending for a championship and you have a bad, embarrassing loss, you say things like “We’re not a great team. ... That’s what we need to realize and wake up,” which is what Montrezl Harrell said after the Clippers lost at home to the Grizzlies by 26 points on Saturday. Their followup wasn’t all that inspiring, either, as they gave up 45 points in the first quarter to the Knicks. They came back to win 135-132, but the Clippers are clearly coasting a bit -- which is what the really good teams get to do from time to time.”

NBA.com

This week: 5, Last week: 4

Notes: “The Clippers have been the picture of inconsistency over the last few weeks, and they took the inconsistency to a new level in a wild win over the Knicks on Sunday, losing the first quarter by a score of 45-29 and winning the second quarter by a score of 47-24. The offense has stayed solid despite some injuries and absences; Without Leonard on Sunday, they still had three guys score more than 30 points. But their defense has allowed three below-average offenses to score more than 120 points per 100 possessions since Christmas, with Memphis scoring 140 points on 107 possessions on Saturday in what was the Clips worst loss (considering the competition) of the season. Better defense could start in transition. The Clips have allowed 19 or more fast break points in five of their last six games. It could also start with better health. They haven’t had Patrick Beverley, Paul George and Leonard together in the last four games. But Beverley and George returned from absences on Sunday and they have four days off before hosting the Warriors on Friday.”

The Athletic

This week: 6, Last week: 6

Notes: “After two shoulder surgeries in the offseason, George’s comeback in his debut with the Clippers was in question. We didn’t know how quickly he’d come back and we didn’t know how quickly he’d return to form. The crazy thing is he didn’t return to form. He came back as a bionic 3-point shooter. His last seven games (34 percent) from the 3-point line have lowered his percentage below last season’s mark. Prior to that, the first 19 games of the season for PG had him knocking down 41 percent on nearly 10 attempts per game. It’s a level of 3-point production that’s still unprecedented in today’s NBA. We still have to see if he has his second-half swoon that has happened far too often in his career. But the early returns are spectacular.

Why didn’t the Clippers move at all this week? They got blitzed by Memphis and then barely beat the Knicks at home this week. Just wasn’t enough to move up.”

Bleacher Report

This week: 4, Last week: 3

Notes: “L.A. handled the Knicks on Sunday to wash out the bitter taste of Friday’s 140-114 loss to the Grizzlies and finish the week with a 3-1 mark. But a 6-5 record since Dec. 14 leaves plenty to be desired. Part of the Clips’ inconsistency stems from the revolving-door nature of its rotation. Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Patrick Beverley and Moe Harkless all sat out games this week.

It’s nice to have Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams steadying the bench amid so much lineup shuffling; their combined 66 points were the main reason Los Angeles got out of New York with the 135-132 win on Sunday. The Clippers still rank among the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, and they’ll profile as a short-list title threat as long as health permits them to play at full strength in the postseason. But the recent version of the Clippers has been less overpowering.”

Yahoo Sports

This week: 4, Last week: 1

Notes: “The Clippers were playing with Kawhi Leonard (load management) on Sunday, and lost Paul George after he fouled out with over seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. Fortunately, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell carried them home. Back in 2018, the Clippers inked Williams to a 3-year, $24 million extension and signed Harrell to a 2-year, $12 million deal in free agency. Those are now two of the most team-friendly non-rookie contracts in the entire league.”

Sports Illustrated

This week: 4, Last week: 3

Notes: “Montrezl Harrell called out the Clippers after their loss to Memphis, telling the media at the Staples Center “we’re not a great team.” How did the Louisville product respond against New York on Sunday? With 34 points off the bench. The Clippers are littered with winning players, and Harrell may be chief among them.”

CBS Sports

This week: 5, Last week: 4

Notes: “The Clippers went 3-1 this week, but the loss raised some red flags. They were blown out by the Grizzlies on their home court, and have now allowed 272 points in their last two games. They have four days off until their next test, which should give them some much-needed practice time for some fine-tuning.”

NBC Sports

This week: 3, Last week: N/A

Notes: “It’s very tight in the No. 3 through No. 10 range in these power rankings. The Clippers sitting at No. 3 is more a reflection of this writer’s opinion that they’re built well to succeed in the playoffs than of them playing good basketball lately. Montrezl Harrell thinks they’re “not a great team,” and they gave up 140 points to the Grizzlies on Saturday and 132 to the Knicks on Sunday, but the Clippers are still finding ways to win most games and only have one losing streak this season, a two-game hiccup in mid-November.”