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NBA power rankings 2012: Clippers rise, Lakers fall

After the first week of the 2012-13 NBA season, Los Angeles' expectation-laden hoops squads are headed in different directions in the majority of NBA power rankings.

Stephen Dunn

With a win over their crosstown rival Los Angeles Lakers and a 2-2 start, the Los Angeles Clippers are climbing in most NBA Power Rankings, while the star-studded Lakers are tumbling after their 1-3 start.

ESPN's Marc Stein has the Clippers up one spot from last week's poll, placing them fifth. Stein noted that despite the Clippers' big win over their Staples Center co-tenant, they also allowed 114 points to the Golden State Warriors in their first loss of the year. Stein's rankings were released before the Clippers' loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night, and it's unlikely they'll hang on to the No. 5 spot in next week's poll. Stein ranked the Lakers at No. 15, down 12 spots from the previous week's No. 3 slot.

Matt Moore's rankings for CBSSports are a bit less bullish on the Clippers, slotting them at No. 17 after the loss to the Cavs, down nine spots from last week's rankings. He has the Lakers nose-diving to No. 23, down 21 spots, citing the team's loss to the Dirk Nowitzki-less Dallas Mavericks and a start that has "been about as bad as anyone could imagine".

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, who -- like Stein -- released his rankings prior to the Clippers disappointing loss to Cleveland, has the Clippers at No. 4, up one spot from the week prior. Spears is a bit less eager to bury the struggling Lakers than his fellow Power Rankers, slotting them at No. 7 (down four spots) claiming that the team is "a work in progress."

Aren't they all.