Power Rankings Roundup: Week 14
ATLANTA – The week started positively with a trouncing of the Thunder, but the Clippers lost Chris Paul in that matchup, and two losses followed at home against Minnesota and on the road in Denver.
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. 8 (Last week: No. 7) –“Chris Paul is out 6-8 weeks with a torn ligament in his left thumb…With 12 of their next 15 games against teams with winning records (and 10 of the next 12 on the road), a big slide could be coming. But the Clips definitely won't be falling any further than seventh in the West.” – John Schuhmann
Clippers No. 11 (Last week: No. 7) – “At the time of his thumb tear, Chris Paul had a better individual net efficiency than any other player in the league who had logged at least 1,000 minutes so far this season. When they lost him for six to eight weeks, the Clippers were plus-15.9 points per 100 possessions with CP3 on the floor this season ... Blake Griffin is coming back this week, so perhaps the Clips will be whole come playoff time, but who knows where their collective psyche will be at that stage after yet another significant injury blow. (It certainly doesn't help that L.A. is in the midst of a stretch in which it plays 10 of 11 games on the road ... with the only home date against the Warriors on Feb. 2.)” – Marc Stein
Clippers No. 13 (Last week: No. 9) – “Chris Paul is hurt, and that really sucks. There’s no beating around the bush here with the Clippers, who’ve faced seemingly every kind of existential curveball over the last several years. They’ve been able to fend for themselves consistently enough without Blake Griffin, but losing CP3 renders them a structurally different team (they’re 0–2 so far without him). So even with a nice 10-game postseason cushion in the standings and Griffin on the way back, L.A. takes a somewhat pre-emptive hit in these rankings…” – Jeremy Woo
Clippers No. 10 (Last week: No. 7) – “I hedged on dropping them to give them a week for Blake Griffin to get back. They're in bad shape, no doubt. And it gets rough this week as they finish a five-game road trip, with the red-hot Sixers and then the Warriors, all without CP3. It may get worse before it gets better.” – Matt Moore