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NBA Power Rankings, Week 2: Lakers Firmly Hold Top Spot

The Los Angeles Lakers have had a fantastic start to their 2010-2011 season, winning their first seven games, including a blowout of Portland on Sunday night to culminate the second week of the season. Not surprisingly, the Lakers hold the top spot in the Western Conference in SB Nation's NBA Power Rankings this week, as they did last week and in the preseason as well:

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Let's cut the 72-win talk right here and right now. That's not going to happen, because the Lakers will inevitably hit a bit of a rough patch once they play more road games and once they have to adjust getting Andrew Bynum back into the lineup. But they are very clearly the best team in the NBA right now, something they punctuated with Sunday's beatdown of the Trail Blazers. Pau Gasol has been unbelievable, but the Lakers' newfound depth has also been big. Steve Blake has been a huge upgrade on Jordan Farmar, and they got a real steal late in the draft with Derrick Caracter. That depth allows them to excel in the regular season like they didn't last season.

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The Lakers lead the NBA in points per game (114.0), offensive efficiency (118.3 points per 100 possessions), three-point shooting percentage (45.0%), effective field goal percentage (53.3%), and average margin of victory (13.6 points). They are one of two undefeated teams, along with the New Orleans Hornets, who host the Clippers tonight.

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The Clippers, who are off to a 1-6 start, are ranked 14th in the 15-team Western Conference. However, given the energy that Eric Bledsoe has brought to the lineup, and the play of Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin so far, expect them to rise in the standings, and rankings, as the season continues.

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For more Lakers news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation Blog: Silver Screen and Roll