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NBA Power Rankings: Lakers Fall To 5th In Tightly-Bunched Group

The Los Angeles Lakers had another good week last week, beating two playoff teams on the road, while losing a close one in Miami to the Heat. They extended their post-All-Star break run to 10-1 with a win over the Orlando Magic last night. Yet, the Lakers dropped from second to fifth in the latest NBA power rankings on SB Nation. Tom Ziller had this to say about the purple and gold:

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The Lakers survived their biggest injury scare of the season when Kobe Bryant left Saturday's game with an ankle sprain. I'm a big believer in Pau Gasol's importance (in wins and losses), but the Lakers simply can't lose Kobe. There's no depth in the backcourt, and no scorer to pick up the load who doesn't already have a massive load to carry.

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To me, that seems like a lot of worrying, but Ziller is certainly correct in the lack of backcourt depth, but that's a bridge to burn once the Lakers get there. The fact is all the teams in the top six or so are tightly bunched, and any one of them can succeed against the other on a given night. How else would one explain the Spurs and heat each beating one another by 30 points in the last month? That said, if Andrew Bynum is healthy and playing like he is right now, I like the Lakers' chances come playoff time,

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