2012 NBA power rankings: Lakers, Clippers head into season with high hopes

Harry How

The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers will fight for the right to own the city as well as the Western Conference as the NBA season tips off on Tuesday night.

The Los Angeles Lakers' offseason has caused a clear divide between themselves and the Los Angeles Clippers on the NBA landscape heading into the season. Adding the likes of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash will do that for a team. But the Clippers are still right there with one of the deepest rosters in the league. Both teams are consensus top eight as the season tips off on Tuesday night.

SB Nation has the Lakers at No. 2 and the Clippers at No. 8 in their power rankings. They worry about the Lakers staying healthy and their depth but forgives the shortcomings due to the level of play the starters are capable of producing. They worry about where the Clippers will get their outside shooting with the departure of Mo Williams, Randy Foye and Nick Young but give credit to Jamal Crawford for possibly filling that role.

ESPN has the Lakers at No. 3 and the Clippers at No. 6 in their power rankings. They forgave the Lakers for the greatest 0-8 preseason in NBA history due Howard's fast recovery from injury and the Oklahoma City Thunder trading away James Harden. They worry if the Clippers could be too deep for their own good or if they'll actually be the NBA's deepest team.

CBS Sports has the Lakers at No. 2 and the Clippers at No. 8 in their power rankings. They playfully joke with how well the Lakers' summer went and showed no surprise that the Lakers were able to pull off their two blockbuster deals. They still don't know what to make of the Clippers even with an infusion of more veteran talent and one year under their belt for the returning core to develop chemistry.

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