The Los Angeles Lakers are pushing full speed ahead.
Anthony Davis is clearly dealing with a shoulder injury and shot 2-for-14 from outside the paint over the weekend, but he played 64 total minutes after missing just one game. And LeBron James, set to turn 35 next month, has played in all 13 games thus far.
The schedule is about to get a little more grueling; The Lakers will be on the road for most of the next four weeks. But with so much roster turnover all around the league, the Lakers are in a good place in regard to building chemistry and, even more important, developing good habits defensively.
They're also in a good place in this week's Power Rankings.
Plus-Minus Players of the Week
- Right Way: LeBron James (LAL) was a plus-54 in four games last week.
- Wrong Way: Cam Reddish (ATL) was a minus-75 in four games last week.
Teams of the Week
- Make It Last Forever: Orlando (3-0) -- The Magic may have righted the ship, and their 3-0 week included a 15-point win over the Sixers.
- Something Just Ain't Right: San Antonio (0-4) -- The four teams that the Spurs lost to -- Memphis, Minnesota, Orlando and Portland -- haven't exactly been playing their best basketball themselves.
East vs. West
- The West is 40-33 (.548) against the East in interconference games after going 12-9 last week.
Schedule strength through Week 4
- Toughest: 1. Milwaukee, 2. Sacramento, 3. New Orleans
- Easiest: 1. Houston, 2. Phoenix, 3. Indiana
- Schedule strength is based on cumulative opponent record, and adjusted for home vs. away and days of rest before a game.
Movement in the Rankings
- High jumps of the week: Houston (+7), Orlando (+6), Sacramento (+5)
- Free falls of the week: San Antonio (-6), Cleveland (-5), Detroit (-5)
Week 5 Team to Watch
- LA Clippers -- With the hope that we're going to see Paul George and Kawhi Leonard on the floor together this week, the Clippers' five-game homestand continues with some very interesting games. They host the Thunder on Monday, the Celtics on Wednesday, the Rockets on Friday, and the Pelicans on Sunday.
- Last week: Celtics grab No. 1 spot, Lakers rise and Sixers fall
- This time last year: Quality wins help Clippers take over top spot -- Kevin Durant and Draymond Green had a blowup on the bench during a Warriors' loss to the Clippers, Caris LeVert suffered a nasty injury in Minnesota, and LeBron James passed Wilt Chamberlain on the all-time scoring list. The league's best record belonged to the eventual champs, and the Mavs beat the Jazz by 50 points. Dwane Casey's Pistons won at the buzzer in his return to Toronto, DeMar DeRozan pulled off one of his 360 layups, and Jimmy Butler hit his first game-winner with the Sixers.
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Pace: Possessions per 48 minutes (League Rank)
OffRtg: Points scored per 100 possessions (League Rank)
DefRtg: Points allowed per 100 possessions (League Rank)
NetRtg: Point differential per 100 possessions (League Rank)
The league has averaged 102.4 possessions (per team) per 48 minutes and 107.3 points scored per 100 possessions this season.
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NBA.com's Power Rankings, released every Monday during the season, are just one man's opinion. If you have an issue with the rankings, or have a question or comment for John Schuhmann, send him an e-mail or contact him via Twitter.
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