The Los Angeles Lakers had a solid week after the All-Star break, winning all four games on their schedule, including three wins over playoff teams, two on the road. However, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and company have fallen in the latest edition of NBA Power Rankings on SB Nation, from fourth to fifth. Wait, what?â†µ
It's not as bad as it sounds. There were no power rankings last week, a break after the All-Star break dominated most of the previous week, so the Lakers loss to NBA-worst Cleveland was not captured in the previous rankings. And really, it's not hard to argue with the top four teams in the rankings: Spurs, Heat, Celtics, and Mavericks, all with a better record than the Lakers. Here is what Tom Ziller had to say about the Lakers:â†µ
Pau Gasol needs to prove that the Black Swan version of himself is real, and not a phantom that will revert to onlooker when Kobe Bryant grabs the reins. Sunday's win in Oklahoma City was not a good start; Pau deferred to Kobe, who was shooting terribly, all game.â†µ
For the Lakers to move up in the rankings, they will simply have to keep winning. They get a chance to face the 49-10 Spurs this Sunday in San Antonio, who even without Tony Parker will give the Lakers a tough test. For more Lakers news and information, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.