The Los Angeles Clippers bested the Los Angeles Lakers on the court on Saturday night at Staples Center, and have moved up accordingly in the latest edition of the NBA power rankings on SB Nation. Tom Ziller has the Clippers as the No. 5 team in basketball this week, up from No. 14 last week. The Lakers are No. 9 after being ranked No. 13 last week.
The Chicago Bulls have won five straight games and have the league's best record at 12-2, and took over the top spot from the Miami Heat, a team the Clippers beat at Staples Center last week. The Oklahoma City Thunder have won six straight games, and at 11-2 and remain the No. 2 team per Ziller's latest rankings, with the Heat sliding to number eight.
"Wins over the Heat and Lakers will do the trick to convince observers your team is for real. Like the Thunder, the Clips have a lot to prove on the defensive end," Ziller said of the Clippers (6-3). ".But when you have Chris Paul and a few well above-average players around him (Blake Griffin, Chauncey Billups), you're going to do well."
Ziller cites the Lakers' propensity to give the ball up as to why they are not higher than ninth. "L.A. is turning the ball over way too much for a team that creates no opponent turnovers. That leads to a shot deficit that's hard to make up, even with good offensive rebounding," he noted.