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NBA power rankings: Are the Los Angeles Lakers the 3rd best team in California?

The NBA’s weekly power rankings for Week 6 came out on Monday with the Los Angeles Lakers reeling, the Golden State Warriors surging and the Los Angeles Clippers and Sacramento Kings bookending to turn the Pacific Division upside down. 

The Lakers fell more spots than any other team, along with the Phoenix Suns. Both teams had a rough stretch over the last seven days, but Los Angeles with their flair for the dramatic made headlines as only they can. An embarrassing home loss to the Orlando Magic has the team reeling heading into a road trip that will serve as a true litmus test of where this really is. 

Photo by Rina Laxa / Wikimedia Commons

The surprise team is the Golden State Warriors, who jumped forward three spots to knock on the door of the top 10 at No. 11. The most impressive aspect of their surge into relevancy is the fact that they’re doing it following a season-ending injury to Brandon Rush and without the services of Andrew Bogut, who continues to nurse an ankle injury. 

The Clippers continue to impress, and it appears they’re not going anywhere. They continue to impress with the league’s best and most dynamic bench that seems to have playmakers at every position. With the return of Chauncey Billups, they are as dangerous as ever, but the coaching staff will have a substantial challenge in keeping everyone engaged as they have to put together the pieces of the minutes puzzle each night. 

Their talent will win out, though, and they will remain among the elite teams. The question is whether or not the struggling Lakers can rejoin them and re-enter the conversation as contenders for the city championship. No, it doesn’t mean anything until the postseason, but if you are what your record says you are, then the Pacific Division is going to be a dogfight until the very end. 

The Kings round out the list at No. 29, and it took an incredibly underwhelming Wizards squad to outdo them. They’re likely to stay there barring some outlandish set of circumstances. Head coach Keith Smart has a lot of work to do in the state capital. 


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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His credits include Yahoo Sports and Bleacher Report, among others.


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