Power Rankings Roundup: Week 12
LOS ANGELES – The Clippers continue to start the new year in style, eliminating a six-game losing skid at the end of December by beginning 2017 with four straight wins last week.
Here are the resulting power rankings from NBA.com, ESPN.com, SI.com and CBSSports.com, along with a brief explanation for the choices. Click on the ranking under each publication’s name to see the full explanations for each team.
Clippers No. 7 (Last week: No. 10) – “Chris Paul returned on Friday, but the Clippers got their four-game winning streak started before that, winning ugly against Phoenix and then shooting 51 percent and getting to the line 45 times against the Grizzlies' second-ranked defense, with Austin Rivers scoring a season-high 28 points…” – John Schuhmann
Clippers No. 9 (Last week: No. 15) – “Chris Paul just joined Gary Payton, Jason Kidd and John Stockton as the only players in league history to rank in the top 10 in career assists and the top 15 in career steals. What this means most, of course, is that Paul is back in the Clippers' lineup after an eight-game run in which he was only able to play once thanks to a hamstring problem. Skepticism abounds in the wake of Doc Rivers' recent vow that both he and his players will endeavor to cut down on the techs they rack up, but credit the Clips for mustering consecutive double-digit wins (over Phoenix and Memphis) in their final two games without CP3 ...” – Marc Stein
Clippers No. 11 (Last week: No. 12) – “L.A. has followed six straight losses with four wins and is poisted to take advantage of a cushy-looking January schedule, beginning with a five-game homestand. Chris Paul is back and Blake Griffin is making progress in his recovery. The arrow points tenuously upward.” – Jeremy Woo
Clippers No. 11 (Last week: No. 17) – “A soft schedule and a, ahem, tired Grizzlies team after several days in Los Angeles gives them a four-game winning streak so they jump up here. If they can just get the non-Blake guys back consistently they should be able to stabilize things, and at fourth in the West, they're in a good spot regardless. However, think about this: The Clippers are already 5.5 games out of the 2-seed. Second-round homecourt is likely already gone.” – Matt Moore