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Power Rankings Watch: Clippers aren’t viewed as best team in NBA yet

They came in at 2nd, but nobody thought they are the best

Los Angeles Clippers v Phoenix Suns Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

With the exception of that 51-point loss to the Mavericks, the Clippers have looked really good in every game they’ve played. Although they lost to Utah, they could have won that game even though they didn’t look their best. Sitting at 5-2 on the season, the Clippers are tied for first place with the Suns and the Lakers ... two teams they have already beaten this year.

The Clippers went 3-1 this past week. They defeated the Timberwolves by 23, defeated the Blazers by 23, defeated the Suns by five and lost to the Jazz by six. Like I mentioned earlier, although they lost to Utah, they still had a chance to win that game.


Power Rankings

ESPN

This week: 2nd | Last week: 3rd

“Following an embarrassing 51-point loss to the Mavs, the Clippers beat both Minnesota and Portland by 23 each. While they got a masked Kawhi Leonard back against Portland, the Clippers could not overcome a poor start in Utah. Paul George, though, scored 39 points to hold off a red-hot Phoenix squad. The Clippers are still letting opponents cut big leads down to single-digits, but so far, they’ve held on to beat the Lakers, Nuggets and Suns in those situations.”

NBA.com

This week: 3rd | Last week: 4th

There are three 5-2 teams in the Western Conference and the Clippers have beat the other two, *almost* blowing a 31-point lead in Phoenix on Sunday, but holding on thanks to Nicolas Batum’s dagger 3. (Teams are 46-0 after leading by at least 18 points this season.) It was easily the Suns’ worst defensive game and Paul George did most of the damage, scoring 39 points (on 15-for-24 shooting) in less than 39 minutes. We know he’s going to have to prove himself all over again in the playoffs, but right now, George is one heck of a player (on both ends of the floor) having one heck of a season. He’s averaging 25.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.7 steals, shooting 51% from the field, 49% from 3, and 93% from the line.

CBS Sports

This week: 3rd | Last week: 5th

Kawhi Leonard and Paul George both had strong weeks as the Clippers went 3-1, avoiding disaster after nearly seeing a 31-point lead evaporate against Phoenix Sunday, a game after nearly completing a big comeback of their own in a loss to the Jazz. Outside of the big two, the Clippers have gotten solid contributions from Serge Ibaka, Lou Williams, Luke Kennard and a revived Nicolas Batum, who averaged 10.3 points and 4.5 rebounds on 53 percent 3-point shooting for the week.

The Athletic

This week: 3rd | Last week: 23rd (?!?!?!)

Poise, for now. The Clippers have played pretty good basketball since the 51-point debacle against Dallas to end the first week. Beating Portland the way they did — with the Paul George-Damian Lillard stuff hanging over the game — was a good sign of growth from last season. They could’ve gotten caught up in the BS that night and kept them from focusing on the task at hand, even in a win. The loss to Utah was frustrating, but they bounced back by beating a hot Phoenix Suns team. All season long, the Clippers’ growth will be tested and questioned. They just have to keep their heads down and continue having weeks like this.