The second half of the NBA season begins on Tuesday, so it's time to take stock of the results of the first half. The Los Angeles Clippers are in first place in the Pacific Division with a 20-11 record, third best in the Western Conference, with the Los Angeles Lakers not far behind at 20-14, good for fifth in the West. In the latest edition of NBA power rankings by Marc Stein of ESPN, both teams are in the top six in the league.
The Pacific Division leading Clippers are rated No. 5 by Stein, down one spot from last week.
The Miami Heat are rightfully rated by Stein as the No. 1 team in the NBA, and they come to Staples Center on Sunday to battle the Lakers, who are No. 6 in Stein's rankings. "Not sure whether to put more stock in the Lakers' 6-12 road record or their 2-0 mark against the team that swept them in the playoffs," wrote Stein. "The only certainty for now: You don't want to miss Kobe's reunion Sunday with D-Wade in L.A."