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NBA Power Rankings 2012: Clippers Remain Near Top, Lakers Moving Up

The NBA season is flying along after the long delay to begin the year. Fortunately for fans in Los Angeles, both of their local teams are playing well to this point. With more than one-third of the season already complete, the Lakers and Clippers are holding strong in the weekly power rankings. We have the latest from ESPN and Mark Stein.

The Clippers claimed the No. 6 spot for the second consecutive week. Here is the blurb Stein wrote about the team.

K-Mart choosing them to address the biggest weakness (frontcourt depth) this team had? CP3 and Blake starting for the West for a franchise that hadn't had one All-Star starter since World B. Free repped the San Diego Clips for the opening tip in 1980's ASG? Years after the slogan was unveiled, it's truly Hip To Clip.

These rankings were released before losing Chauncey Billups to an Achilles injury, one that will likely keep the NBA veteran out for the rest of the season. This was a significant blow to the Clippers, but not one they will not be able to recover from.

The Lakers moved up two spots and came in at No. 9 for the week.

Despite that s-t-e-e-p dropoff from Kobe-Bynum-Pau to the rest of the roster, they're still the Lakers. So this week's road slate (Philly, followed by Boston, followed by New York) has an undeniable big-deal feel ... even if no one on earth can tell you who suddenly combustible Mike Brown's fourth-best player is.

As long as both L.A. teams stay in the top-10, I don't think too many folks will be complaining. At this point in the season it's all about staying healthy and positioning yourself for a deep playoff run.

For more on the two franchises, head on over to Clippers Nation and Silver Screen and Roll.