WEEKLY POWER RANKINGS

 
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2021 1:54 pm    Post subject: WEEKLY POWER RANKINGS

no. 23 (-1)

    Record: 31-47
    Pace: 100.3 (7) OffRtg: 109.7 (23) DefRtg: 112.8 (23) NetRtg: -3.1 (23)

    The Lakers got both LeBron James (two-game absence) and Anthony Davis (18-game absence) back on Friday for what was (seemingly) their best chance at giving themselves a chance to give themselves a chance at a playoff berth. They outscored the Pelicans, 44-18, in the restricted area, shot 6-for-9 on corner 3s, and had their best defensive performance in weeks. They led by six early in the fourth quarter and by three with 3:00 left.

    And that was that. New Orleans went on a 7-0 run, the Lakers scored just seven points on 12 clutch possessions, and James airballed the game-tying 3 at the buzzer. With their season on the line, the Lakers have lost six straight games for the first time. Even with decent defensive numbers on Friday, they’ve allowed more than 124 points per 100 possessions over the losing streak.

    With bad offensive chemistry early in the season and bad defense (only three teams have allowed more per 100) since the start of Davis’ first extended absence, the Lakers are set to be the first LeBron James team to rank in the bottom 10 on both ends of the floor. As we enter the final week, they’re joined by three other teams – the Kings, Blazers and Rockets – that rank in the bottom 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency.

    The Lakers aren’t eliminated yet and the Spurs could have a tough week ahead. But even if San Antonio were to lose all four of their games, the Lakers would have to win three to sneak into the Play-In. James, meanwhile, would have to play in two to qualify for the scoring title. He missed their loss to Denver on Sunday, still dealing with ankle soreness.

    Week 25: @ PHX, @ GSW, vs. OKC, @ DEN

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-25

no. 22 (-1)

    Record: 31-43
    Pace: 100.3 (7) OffRtg: 109.6 (23) DefRtg: 112.2 (20) NetRtg: -2.6 (22)

    The Pelicans’ two weekend results – a loss to the Spurs and a win over the Lakers – were probably a worst-case scenario for L.A. Not only have the Lakers lost the tie-breaker with New Orleans, they also lead the 11th-place Spurs (who would hold the conference-record tie-breaker) by just one game. And of course, the Lakers are still the Western Conference team with the most games remaining (six of their eight) against teams that currently have winning records. The possibility of this team failing to reach the Play-In has never been more real.

    The Lakers still control their own destiny, and they have a couple of quality wins (in Toronto and Cleveland – two of their five best offensive performances of the season) over the last couple of weeks. But they seemingly put their best foot forward in the first half on Sunday, only to blow a 23-point lead. Shooting 39% (including 3-for-16 from 3-point range) they were outscored 67-39 in the second half. The Lakers have five losses in games they led by at least 15 points (tied for fifth most) and they’ve come against the Thunder (x2), Pacers, Wizards and Pelicans.

    Their final meeting with the Pelicans is in L.A. on Friday, but that will be the second half of a road-home back-to-back, with the Pelicans having Thursday off. In fact, the Lakers’ only two remaining games that aren’t against teams with winning records – Friday vs. the Pels, next week vs. Oklahoma City – are both rest-disadvantage games. They’re 2-4 (with four straight losses) in rest-disadvantage games thus far.

    NBA TV wrote:

    Mar 21, 2022ReplyRetweetFavorite

    Week 24: @ DAL, @ UTA, vs. NOP, vs. DEN

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-24

no. 21 (-1)

    Record: 30-41
    Pace: 100.4 (6) OffRtg: 109.1 (23) DefRtg: 111.7 (18) NetRtg: -2.7 (23)

    The Lakers put an end to their 11-game road losing streak in Toronto on Friday, with … [checks notes] … Russell Westbrook hitting the game-tying 3 at the end of regulation. Westbrook is just 3-for-14 on clutch 3s, but two of those three makes were to tie or take the lead in the final minute of the fourth quarter or OT (the other one was in Dallas).

    After three straight games in which they lost the first quarter by at least 14 points, the Lakers have gotten off to two straight good starts, scoring 69 points on 47 first-quarter possessions over their weekend back-to-back in Toronto (with 14 first-quarter points from Wenyen Gabriel) and Washington. But their defense got shredded in the second half (69 points allowed on 46 possessions) by the Wizards, and they still haven’t won two straight games since early January. The defense was a disappointment before the break, and it ranks 27th since the break, even though just two of the Lakers’ 13 post-break games have come against teams that rank in the top 10 offensively.

    Amazingly, the Lakers still aren’t in much danger in regard to falling out of the Western Conference Play-In. But home court in the 9-10 game will likely come down to their two remaining games against the Pelicans. The first of those two is Sunday in New Orleans, and the Lakers will have a rest advantage (with the Pelicans hosting the Spurs the night before).

    NBA wrote:

    Mar 19, 2022ReplyRetweetFavorite

    Week 23: @ CLE, vs. PHI, @ NOP

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-23

no. 21 (-1)

    Record: 29-38
    Pace: 1100.5 (5) OffRtg: 108.9 (24) DefRtg: 111.2 (17) NetRtg: -2.4 (23)

    For all the issues regarding Russell Westbrook’s fit in L.A., the Lakers have been outscored by just 44 points (1.6 per 100 possessions) in his 1,196 minutes on the floor alongside LeBron James. While that’s obviously bad for a duo that’s being paid more than $85 million this season, it’s not the worst combination you’ll find. Heck, the Clippers’ most-used combination (Reggie Jackson and Ivica Zubac) has on-court numbers more than twice as bad (minus-3.2 per 100 possessions). But the Lakers obviously haven’t found solutions for when one of the two stars is on the bench. They’ve been outscored by 2.8 points per 100 possessions in 609 minutes with James on the floor without Westbrook and by 5.4 per 100 (with some anemic offense) in 1,068 minutes with Westbrook on the floor without James.

    James had his second 50-point game in a seven-day span, and the Lakers continue to have sporadic success playing small (their latest starting lineup is a plus-23 in its 53 minutes). But those two 50-point games sandwiched losses in San Antonio and Houston, and the Lakers had no chance in Phoenix on Sunday.

    The Lakers still have the league’s second toughest remaining schedule in regard to cumulative opponent winning percentage (.554), with 11 of their 15 games against teams that currently have winning records. Beyond that, after they host the Raptors on Monday (when Toronto will have a rest advantage), 10 of their final 14 games will be on the road. And the Lakers have the league’s biggest differential between their home record (20-16, .556) and their road record (9-22, .290). They’ve lost 10 straight road games (including two at Staples Center), with their last road win having come (in Brooklyn) in January.

    Week 22: vs. TOR, @ MIN, @ TOR, @ WAS

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-22

no. 20 (+1)

    Record: 28-35
    Pace: 100.3 (5) OffRtg: 108.7 (24) DefRtg: 110.7 (17) NetRtg: -2.0 (21)

    LeBron James remains a marvel. At the age of 37, he’s averaging 28.8 points per 36 minutes, the highest mark in his 19 seasons. And that was the case before he scored 56 points (tied for the third biggest scoring game of his career) against the Warriors on Saturday, with 20 of the 56 coming in the restricted area and 18 coming from beyond the arc. James’ teammates were solid too, and it was the Lakers’ most efficient offensive performance (124 points on 103 possessions) in almost two months (since Jan. 7).

    It was also a big win, and it showed why the Lakers will have a chance to reach the playoffs no matter where they land in the Play-In tournament. Of course, it will take more consistency to win an actual playoff series, so we’ll see where the Lakers go from here. They got a big win over Utah going into the All-Star break, and they came out of the break with four straight losses. It’s now been exactly two months since they got two straight wins.

    The Lakers still have work to do to secure a Play-In spot. They’re just a game and a half ahead of the 10th-place Pelicans and are fortunate that the 11th-place Blazers and 12th-place Spurs are a combined 1-8 since the All-Star break. With the final meeting on Monday, they’re 2-1 against San Antonio, though the last meeting (Dec. 23) was one of the Lakers’ worst defensive games of the season. They have seven games remaining against teams currently under .500, and three of those seven are in the next five days.

    Week 21: @ SAS, @ HOU, vs. WAS, @ PHX

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-21

no. 21 (-3)

    Record: 27-33
    Pace: 100.4 (5) OffRtg: 108.4 (24) DefRtg: 110.3 (14) NetRtg: -1.9 (20)

    A lack of chemistry and spacing on offense, along with injuries, have certainly a big role in the Lakers’ 27-33 record. And this team does rank lower on offense than it does on defense. But a lack of consistent effort on defense has also kept the Lakers from being as good as they could possibly be given the circumstances. And as they’ve lost 14 of their last 20 games (without winning two straight), they’ve ranked nearly as low on defense (22nd) as they have on offense (23rd).

    The Lakers erased a 16-point deficit against the Clippers on Friday, but both early on and down the stretch, they just didn’t show much urgency defensively, slow to react with help and slow to get back in transition as the Clippers took the lead with a 6-0 run in the final three minutes. If an opponent is taking the basketball toward the basket, that should be regarded as an emergency. And if the ball is swung to the guy who ranks second in the league in 3-point percentage, somebody should probably make that next rotation instead of standing in the paint guarding nobody.

    Of course, the loss to the Clippers wasn’t the Lakers’ worst of the week, because they got hammered by New Orleans two nights later. And they’re now just 2 1/2 games ahead of the 10th-place Pelicans, with a much more difficult remaining schedule. Fifteen of their 22 games are against teams that currently have winning records, and the Lakers are 9-21 against that group thus far.

    NBA TV wrote:

    Feb 25, 2022ReplyRetweetFavorite

    Week 20: vs. DAL, @ LAC, vs. GSW

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-20

no. 18 (+2)

    Record: 27-31
    Pace: 100.3 (5) OffRtg: 108.8 (23) DefRtg: 110.3 (16) NetRtg: -1.4 (20)

    The Lakers got one of their best wins of the season on Wednesday, coming back from 12 points down with less than six minutes to go to stun the Jazz. LeBron James took over down the stretch, scoring 10 straight points on the Lakers’ 16-2, game-changing run. But more was needed from James because Anthony Davis suffered a nasty ankle turn earlier in the night, and the big man will miss at least the Lakers’ next 11 games. L.A. is 10-10 in games that James has played without Davis and is a plus-4 in James’ 840 total minutes with Davis off the floor.

    That’s not bad, but to make the situation worse, the Lakers have the Western Conference’s toughest remaining schedule in regard to cumulative opponent winning percentage (.538), with 14 of their 24 games against teams that currently have winning records. The post-break slate does start off relatively easy, with six of their next eight games against teams currently below .500. The Lakers are 18-13 (13-4 with James, 5-9 without him) against that sub-.500 group.

    Three numbers to know…

    1. The Lakers have seen the league’s biggest jump in points allowed per 100 possessions from 106.8 (first) last season to 110.3 (16th) this season.

    2. The Lakers are the only team without a lineup that’s played at least 100 minutes. Their most-used lineup has played just 77 minutes, and their most-used lineup that includes both James and Davis has played just 47 minutes.

    3. The Lakers lead the league with 12 losses (they’re 20-12) after leading by double-digits.

    NBA wrote:

    Feb 21, 2022ReplyRetweetFavorite

    Week 19: vs. LAC, vs. NOP

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-19

no. 20 (-1)

    Record: 26-31
    Pace: 100.4 (4) OffRtg: 108.8 (23) DefRtg: 110.3 (17) NetRtg: -1.5 (20)

    GM Rob Pelinka did not make a trade to lift the “fog” that was hanging over the Lakers before the deadline and after losses to the Bucks (in which they trailed by 30 points) and Blazers (who had traded three starters and lost six straight games). And, given the Lakers’ lack of assets, there probably wasn’t a deal that was going to make this team more than mediocre.

    But the Lakers’ first post-deadline game (at Golden State on Saturday) was one of their best performances of the last few weeks. They outscored the Warriors in the paint, shot well (11-for-27) from 3-point range, and came back from a 15-point deficit. Alas, they missed a bunch of free throws, including the first of three that LeBron James had with the Lakers down three and 2.4 seconds left in the fourth quarter. There can be a thin line between success and failure, and the Lakers lead the league with 34 games that have been within five points in the last five minutes. They’re not worse in those games (16-18) than they are otherwise (10-13), but with a little more late-game fortune, they could be in seventh place instead of ninth.

    One team that has been much worse in close games (12-16) than it’s been otherwise (23-5) is the Jazz. One of the Lakers’ clutch wins came last month against Utah, and the two teams will meet for the second time on Wednesday.

    Week 18: vs. UTA

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-18

no. 19 (+1)

    Record: 26-28
    Pace: 100.6 (4) OffRtg: 108.5 (23) DefRtg: 110.2 (15) NetRtg: -1.7 (20)

    The Lakers lead the league with 12 losses (they’re 19-12) in games they led by double-digits. But they’re also tied (with Dallas, Golden State and Memphis) for the league lead in wins (they’re 10-23 – the others have fewer losses) in games they’ve trailed by double-digits. Against the Clippers on Thursday, they erased a 17-point deficit, only to get one-upped by Reggie Jackson in the closing seconds. And against the Knicks on Saturday, they came back from 21 points down to win in overtime.

    The bigger difference between the good stretches and bad stretches in those two games was on defense. In the fourth quarter against the Clippers (17 points allowed on 22 possessions) and in the third against the Knicks (13 on 23), the Lakers showed that they can defend at a high level. But sustaining that level of defense has been difficult. The bottom line regarding those two games: The Lakers went 1-1 against two not-so-great teams, needing overtime (played without Russell Westbrook) to beat an opponent that had lost seven of its previous nine games.

    Saturday was just the Lakers’ 17th game with both LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and they’re 10-7 with both of them in the lineup. They remain the only team that doesn’t have a lineup that’s played at least 100 minutes, and their most-used lineup that includes both James and Davis has played only 47. (It also includes DeAndre Jordan). They’ve seemingly found something with Malik Monk (who totaled 50 points on Thursday and Saturday), but have been outscored by 4.1 points per 100 possessions in 144 total minutes with Monk, James and Davis on the floor together.

    That sample size should grow in the next couple of weeks. Three of the Lakers’ four remaining games before the All-Star break are against three of the league’s top nine teams: Milwaukee, Golden State and Utah. The Lakers have won just one of their last 10 games (they’re 4-11 overall) against that group.

    Week 17: vs. MIL, @ POR, @ GSW

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-17

no. 20 (-2)

    Record: 24-27
    Pace: 100.6 (3) OffRtg: 108.5 (23) DefRtg: 110.2 (18) NetRtg: -1.7 (21)

    The Lakers got Anthony Davis back and improved to 9-7 when they’ve had their three stars with a win in Brooklyn on Tuesday, holding the Nets’ top-10 offense (missing Kevin Durant, of course) to just 96 points on 95 possessions. But good health was short-lived, LeBron James has missed the last two games with a knee issue, and the Lakers lost both. Though the Hornets and Hawks each shot less than 33% from 3-point range, they combined to score 123.6 points per 100 possessions over the weekend, totaling 120 points in the paint. The Lakers are now one of four teams — the Rockets, Blazers and Kings are the others — that rank in the bottom 10 in regard to both opponent field goal percentage in the restricted area (66.0%, 23rd) and the percentage of their opponents’ shots that have come in the restricted area (32%, fourth highest).

    NBA TV’s Channing Frye asked a very good question about this team after the loss in Atlanta: What, exactly, are the Lakers good at? With their season 62% complete, the Lakers are in the top 10 in just one of the four factors on either end of the floor, ranking ninth in opponent turnover rate. They’re also fourth in fast-break points per game, mostly because James (first among individuals) remains an unstoppable force in transition. So they can run when they have the opportunity. But non-turnover stops haven’t come often enough. The weekend losses were the eighth and ninth times L.A. has allowed at least 120 points per 100 this season. That happened just six times last season, when league-wide efficiency was higher.

    The Atlanta defeat (in which they led by 11 early in the fourth quarter) was also the Lakers’ 12th (they’re 18-12) after leading by double-digits. That gives them the league lead over Cleveland (25-11) and Orlando (10-11).

    With their six-game trip in the books, the Lakers are back in L.A. for their next four games. They’re just 2 1/2 games ahead of the 10th-place Blazers, with their final two meetings in the next 10 days. They’ve split the first games, which were the Lakers’ most efficient and least efficient offensive performances of the season.

    Week 16: vs. POR, @ LAC, vs. NYK

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-16

no. 18 (+2)

    Record: 23-24
    Pace: 100.8 (3) OffRtg: 108.5 (24) DefRtg: 109.9 (19) NetRtg: -1.4 (22)

    Whether Frank Vogel’s job was on the line or not (why would a team let such a thing become public?), the Lakers clearly played with a commitment to defend at a high level against the Jazz on Monday, just the third time this season that Utah’s top-ranked offense has been held under a point per possession. The Lakers switched screens at about twice their usual rate, their switches were mostly on point, and they outscored the Jazz, 49-24 (allowing 24 points on 35 defensive possessions), in 18.2 minutes with a frontline of Stanley Johnson and LeBron James.

    Alas, maybe that game was more about the Jazz’s struggles than the Lakers turning the season around. Two nights later, they gave up 62 points in the paint and blew a fourth-quarter lead to the Pacers. The Lakers rank sixth offensively since Christmas, but are just 7-6 over that stretch, ranking 23rd defensively. James has averaged an efficient 31.7 points over those 13 games, but the Lakers have been outscored in his minutes because they’ve allowed more than 117 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor.

    Anthony Davis (who’s missed the last 17 games) was listed as questionable for the Lakers’ loss in Miami on Sunday, so he could be back this week as they complete their six-game trip with four more games against top-10 offenses. He will certainly help, though L.A. is just 8-7 with both James and Davis in the lineup, having outscored their opponents by exactly four points in their 405 minutes on the floor together.

    NBA TV wrote:

    Jan 17, 2022ReplyRetweetFavorite

    Week 15: @ BKN, @ PHI, @ CHA, @ ATL

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-15

no. 20 (-3)

    Record: 21-22
    Pace: 101.0 (3) OffRtg: 108.4 (24) DefRtg: 110.1 (20) NetRtg: -1.7 (22)

    For the most part, the Lakers’ early success with LeBron James starting at center was about strength of schedule. But their latest loss with James at the five came Wednesday when their own defense was worse than that of the Kings and they allowed Sacramento to score a season-high 70 points in the paint. Dwight Howard was a plus-9 in the loss, so he got the start in Denver on Saturday … and the Lakers lost by 37. They’ve allowed more than 130 points per 100 possessions as they’ve lost three straight games to fall below .500.

    And even after the loss in Denver, the Lakers have played the fewest games (17) against the 16 teams that currently have winning records. They’re 5-12 against that group overall and just 1-10 against those teams since mid-November, with the only win having come (on Austin Reaves’ game-winner) against a Dallas team missing Luka Doncic. A tougher schedule is ahead, with their first meeting with the Jazz on Monday, when an efficient game from the league’s No. 1 offense could drop L.A. into the bottom 10 on both ends of the floor.

    The Lakers’ Grammy-Awards trip isn’t as long as that of the Clippers, but it’s still their longest trip of the season (six games over 10 days). It begins Friday and will take them through Miami, Brooklyn, Philadelphia and Charlotte.

    Week 14: vs. UTA, vs. IND, @ ORL, @ MIA

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-14

no. 17

    Record: 21-20
    Pace: 101.2 (3) OffRtg: 108.4 (23) DefRtg: 109.1 (15) NetRtg: -0.6 (20)

    The Lakers won their first five games in which LeBron James started at center. And four of those five wins are among the Lakers’ five most efficient offensive performances of the season. Not only did James dominate, but Malik Monk averaged 23.6 points on an effective field goal percentage of 68.9% over the five games, while Avery Bradley was even more efficient on a lower volume. And along with the improved shooting came a reduction in turnovers.

    But those five wins came against Houston, Portland, Minnesota (missing Karl-Anthony Towns), Sacramento and Atlanta, mostly bad teams with bad defenses. And when the Lakers finally faced a good team, they got clobbered, trailing the Grizzlies by as many as 29 points on Sunday before the third-string went on a big, fourth-quarter run. It was still a relatively efficient game for the Lakers (even pre-garbage time), with another low turnover count and James scoring 35 points on 14-for-19 shooting. But Monk, Bradley and Russell Westbrook combined to shoot 7-for-35 and the Lakers’ defense didn’t hold up, allowing the Grizzlies to score 62 points in the paint. They’ve now scored 113.8 points per 100 possessions and allowed 111.5 in 407 minutes with James on the floor without Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard or DeAndre Jordan.

    The Lakers do get to play the Kings (who were the opponent for two of their six most efficient games of the season) again on Wednesday. They’ve yet to play the Nuggets, and some James-at-the-five minutes vs. Nikola Jokic on Saturday could be fun to watch. The Lakers are currently 2-3 against the other four teams in the West’s 5-9 scrum.

    Week 13: @ SAC, @ DEN

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-13

no. 17 (+1)

    Record: 19-19
    Pace: 101.1 (2) OffRtg: 107.3 (23) DefRtg: 108.4 (14) NetRtg: -1.1 (20)

    The Lakers can now begin shopping Anthony Davis around the league, because they’re undefeated (3-0) with LeBron James starting at center. The three wins have come against the Rockets, Blazers and shorthanded Wolves, so maybe they should hold off on trading Davis (the deadline is still more than a month away). But the first two were L.A.’s two most efficient offensive games of the season. Their win over Minnesota was more of a defensive victory; They got absolutely destroyed on the glass, but the Lakers forced 23 turnovers (14 of them live balls) and kept the Wolves (who shot just 9-for-38 from 3-point range) off the free-throw line.

    When James has played the five (no Davis, Dwight Howard or DeAndre Jordan on the floor), he really has played more like a big man, with 41% of his shots coming in the restricted area and a free throw rate of 38.5 attempts per 100 shots from the field. When he’s played alongside one or two of the bigs, those numbers are just 32% and 23.1. Russell Westbrook – 54.3% from the field with James at the five vs. 43.9% otherwise – has also benefited.

    The Lakers’ regular-season ceiling is seemingly the 4 seed. And they’ll complete their season series with the fourth-place Grizzlies on Sunday, with Memphis at the end of a stretch of four games in five days. The home team has won all three meetings thus far, with the Lakers having scored less than a point per possession over their two December losses (both with James, one without Anthony Davis) in Memphis.

    Week 12: vs. SAC, vs. ATL, vs. MEM

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-12

no. 18 (-3)

    Record: 16-18
    Pace: 101.3 (1) OffRtg: 105.9 (26) DefRtg: 108.2 (12) NetRtg: -2.3 (22)

    Anthony Davis is hurt and DeAndre Jordan is seemingly unplayable. Dwight Howard returned for the last two games, but the Lakers were outscored by 18 (allowing 85 points on 60 defensive possessions) in his 28 total minutes on the floor. So playing LeBron James at the five feels like the only option right now. They played James at center for more minutes on Christmas (34) than they did all of last season (25), and didn’t even use Howard or Jordan in the four minutes that James sat in the second half, instead playing Carmelo Anthony at the five in a couple of small lineups that included a guy (Darren Collison) who hadn’t played in 2 1/2 years.

    James has been playing his best (offensive) basketball of the season, averaging 35 points on 58% shooting over the four games since Davis injured his knee. He’s set almost as many ball screens over the four games (70) as he did in his 18 games prior to that (74), according to Second Spectrum tracking. And while his 3-point shooting has cooled off, James has taken 44% of his shots in the restricted area, up from 34% prior.

    Alas, the Lakers have lost five straight games for the first time since March of 2019. They’ve been outscored by 43 points in James’ 44 minutes on the bench over the losing streak, with Russell Westbrook unable to keep the offense afloat. Westbrook missing jumpers is nothing new, but he was 4-for-15 in the restricted area on Saturday, coming up short on a dunk attempt with the Lakers down three in the final minute.

    The Lakers are still in seventh place in the West, with a couple of games against teams chasing them (Portland and Minnesota) this weekend.

    Week 11: @ HOU, @ MEM, vs. POR, vs. MIN

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-11

no. 15

    Record: 16-15
    Pace: 101.1 (1) OffRtg: 106.4 (24) DefRtg: 107.3 (11) NetRtg: -0.9 (20)

    With all the Health-and-Safety absences, actual injuries can fly under the radar. But the MCL sprain that Anthony Davis suffered in Minnesota on Friday is obviously a big one. Davis is surely the easiest of the the Lakers’ three stars to reintegrate after a long absence, but this team hasn’t given itself much margin for error, playing mediocre basketball through the first nine weeks.

    Of course, they’re now more dependent on their two centers. But Dwight Howard is currently in Health and Safety Protocols and the Lakers have been outscored by 9.0 points per 100 possessions in DeAndre Jordan’s 335 minutes on the floor. They’ve played 121 minutes with LeBron James at the five (no Davis, Howard or Jordan) and outscored their opponents by 10 points in those minutes, but defensive rebounding is an issue. In their two losses over the weekend, the Lakers allowed 31 offensive rebounds and 39 second chance points. Through Sunday, the Lakers rank 24th in defensive rebounding percentage, having seen the league’s third biggest drop from last season (when they ranked seventh).

    Even with the loss in Chicago on Sunday, the Lakers are 8-5 against the Eastern Conference. They’re 8-10 against the West, with 11 of their next 13 games within the conference.

NBA wrote:
Dec 15, 2021ReplyRetweetFavorite

    Week 10: vs. PHX, vs. SAS, vs. BKN

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-10

no. 15 (+5)

    Record: 15-13
    Pace: 101.1 (3) OffRtg: 107.2 (23) DefRtg: 107.6 (11) NetRtg: -0.4 (19)

    There are certainly reasons to downplay that the Lakers have risen to sixth place in the West, having won five of their last seven games. The teams below them in the standings have all had major issues regarding absences, consistency, or just lack of talent. And the five wins have come against the Pistons, Kings, Celtics, Thunder and Magic. The Lakers got thumped in the second half by the Grizzlies on Thursday and haven’t beat one of the 17 teams currently .500 or better in more than a month (Nov. 10 vs. Miami).

    But they have twice as many double-digit wins in the last 13 days (4) as they did prior to that (2). If you’re going to beat bad teams, it’s certainly better to beat them comfortably. They allowed just 101.3 points per 100 possessions over their four games last week and, against the two good/decent teams they played (Boston and Memphis), they were a plus-21 in 41 total minutes with Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the floor together.

    It’s the first real signs of progress, though two straight games without Davis (sore left knee) has put the important stuff on pause. The Lakers do have two days off before they begin a three-game trip in Dallas on Wednesday. It’s an important game in the standings (and for L.A.’s continued development), though it’s not clear if Davis or Luka Doncic will be available.

    Week 9: @ DAL, @ MIN, @ CHI

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-9

no. 20 (-1)

    Record: 12-12
    Pace: 101.4 (3) OffRtg: 106.9 (22) DefRtg: 108.6 (17) NetRtg: -1.7 (22)

    The Lakers have slowed down a bit. The last five games have been their slowest-paced five-game stretch of the season (97.8 possessions per 48 minutes), and the pace has dropped more in Russell Westbrook’s minutes on the floor than it has in his minutes off the floor. You would think that they’d struggle offensively at a slower pace, but it’s also been their best five-game stretch of offense this season (113.6 points scored per 100 possessions), with fewer turnovers and better (though not less frequent) shooting at the rim. Anthony Davis missed the first game of the five-game stretch, but upon returning, has scored at least 16 points in the paint in four straight games for the first time since he led the Pelicans (averaging 35.6 points per game total) to a 10-game winning streak in early 2018.

    The Lakers’ 115 points on 93 possessions on Friday was the second most efficient game any team has had against the Clippers’ fourth-ranked defense this season. Alas, the Clippers’ 119 on 94 was also the second most efficient game any team has had against the Lakers, who protected the rim (something they haven’t done well this season), but forced just 10 turnovers and allowed Clippers not named Paul George to shoot 16-for-28 from 3-point range.

    With the loss to the Clippers, the Lakers have the worst record (1-3) in games played between the seven West teams that are within three games of .500. The one win came in Week 1 against the team — the Grizzlies — that now has the best record within that group (6-3). The Lakers will play in Memphis twice this month, and they’ll have a rest advantage for the first of those two games (Thursday).

    Week 8: vs. BOS, @ MEM, @ OKC, vs. ORL

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-8

no. 19

    Record: 11-11
    Pace: 101.9 (2) OffRtg: 105.6 (22) DefRtg: 108.5 (18) NetRtg: -2.9 (24)

    Though the Lakers are tied for the most games played (22) through Week 6, their most-used lineup has played just 51 minutes, the lowest total for any team’s most-used five-man unit, and that lineup doesn’t include LeBron James. Their second most-used lineup (47 minutes) includes James, but also Kent Bazemore, who’s been DNP’d in each of the last five games. So you might say that the Lakers are suffering from a lack of continuity; Both James (suspension) and Anthony Davis (illness) missed games last week.

    Frank Vogel did start the same lineup – Russell Westbrook, Avery Bradley, James, Davis and DeAndre Jordan – in their two games over the weekend, but it would be a shock if that group was ever on the floor together in clutch time. It was mostly Malik Monk and Carmelo Anthony alongside the three stars as the Lakers played three overtimes against the Kings on Friday.

    More important than the two guys around them is that this team figures out how the three stars work together. At this point, the Lakers have been better with only one of the three on the floor (+4.6 points per 100 possessions in 313 total minutes) than they’ve been with two (-5.9 in 528 minutes) or all three (-2.1 in 195 minutes). Offense remains a struggle and it may be that they just don’t match up well vs. other starting groups, but can do some damage against second units.

    This Wednesday and Thursday is the Lakers’ first multi-day break since Week 1. And after they play the Clippers on Friday, they’ll have their first three-day break of the season. James is 3-4 against the Clippers since coming to L.A.

    Week 7: @ SAC, vs. LAC

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-7

no. 19 (-6)

    Record: 9-9
    Pace: 102.6 (2) OffRtg: 105.4 (23) DefRtg: 108.7 (20) NetRtg: -3.3 (24)

    LeBron James returned from an eight-game absence on Friday and went back to being a jump-shooter, with only two free throw attempts in 53 total minutes and with 17 of his 23 weekend shots coming from outside the paint. Of course, that doesn’t include the shot that Isaiah Stewart took above the eye on Sunday. With that flagrant-2 foul from James, four different Lakers have been ejected from games this season — and none of the four are Dwight Howard.

    The Lakers were able to come back from 17 points down in Detroit because they scored 37 points (with 27 coming from Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis) in the fourth quarter. Earlier in the week, they erased a double-digit deficit in Milwaukee (before coming up short down the stretch) by playing zone against the champs. The Lakers obviously don’t have the defensive personnel that they had over the previous two years and according to Synergy tracking, they’ve played almost as many possessions of zone this season (72, eighth most) as they played all of last season (84, fifth fewest).

    Their early schedule wasn’t just easy in regard to opponent strength and how home-heavy it was. The Lakers are also one of two teams that have yet to play a rest-disadvantage game. Their first is Wednesday in Indiana, the last stop on their five-game trip.

    Week 6: @ NYK, @ IND, vs. SAC, vs. DET

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-6

no. 13 (+4)

    Record: 8-6
    Pace: 102.5 (3) OffRtg: 105.2 (23) DefRtg: 106.8 (12) NetRtg: -1.6 (20)

    The Lakers’ home-heavy start to the season (12 of their first 15 games at Staples Center) comes to an end on Monday, and it’s not clear if they’ve yet found their footing. They’ve won three of their last four games, with Russell Westbrook recording his second and third triple-doubles of the season and getting three big buckets in their win over the Heat on Wednesday. Anthony Davis has been finding his way to the basket more, with 18 points in the restricted area against Charlotte on Monday and 20 more against San Antonio on Sunday.

    But the three wins have come by a total of just 14 points, and they lost by 24 on Friday to a team (Minnesota) that is otherwise 0-7 over the last 16 days. When you take that loss into account, there hasn’t been much progress on either end of the floor. Only the Pistons, Thunder, Rockets and Magic have been worse offensively in the month of November.

    Frank Vogel is still searching for answers in regard to a starting lineup around his two healthy stars. Carmelo Anthony got his first start of the season on Sunday, joined by Avery Bradley (who’s started the last eight games) and Talen Horton-Tucker, who was making his season debut. Horton-Tucker’s performance (17 points in 27 minutes) was certainly promising, and every day that passes is a day closer to LeBron James’ return. A five-game trip through the East begins Wednesday in Milwaukee.

    Week 5: vs. CHI, @ MIL, @ BOS, @ DET

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-5

no. 17 (-8)

    Record: 5-5
    Pace: 103.7 (1) OffRtg: 105.1 (19) DefRtg: 106.3 (13) NetRtg: -1.2 (18)

    The Lakers are building for April, May and June, and LeBron James has missed four of their 10 games. So early-season results aren’t a major concern. But given how soft and home-heavy their schedule has been, a 5-5 start — with two confounding losses to the Thunder (games they led by 26 and 19 points) and a narrow escape against the Rockets — is not good. They’ve been inconsistent from game to game and half to half, and they’ve allowed 65 points on 55 clutch possessions, in part because 19 (*45%) of their opponents’ 42 clutch shots have come in the restricted area.

    * The league average for clutch shots is 28% coming from the restricted area.

    Overall, 35% of the Lakers’ opponents’ shots, the league’s highest opponent rate, have come in the restricted area. They had the fourth highest opponent rate last season (when they had the No. 1 defense overall), but they’ve compounded the problem with the league’s highest opponent free throw rate (26.4 attempts per 100 shots from the field). That number has been highest with their reserves on the floor.

    Better health will solve some of the Lakers’ problems, but it’s not clear when James will return and they could be without Anthony Davis (thumb sprain, stomach illness) against Charlotte on Monday. They’ve scored less than 87 points per 100 possessions in 64 minutes with Russell Westbrook on the floor without the other two stars.

    Week 4: vs. CHA, vs. MIA, vs. MIN, vs. SAS

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-4

no. 9

    Record: 4-3
    Pace: 103.2 (2) OffRtg: 107.4 (9) DefRtg: 107.1 (18) NetRtg: +0.3 (15)

    The Lakers’ win over the Rockets on Sunday was their worst offensive game of the season (95 points on 103 possessions). It was also their most comfortable victory in that they led by double digits for the final 39 minutes. The competition certainly had something to do with it, but the Lakers also had their worst defensive game of the season four nights earlier in Oklahoma City. Before they can beat the good teams, they have to take care of business against the bad ones.

    The Houston win came with Anthony Davis playing almost all of his 33 minutes at the five, with Dwight Howard out and DeAndre Jordan playing alongside Davis for just a couple of minutes. Avery Bradley got the start as the third guard, but those Davis-at-the-five lineups are also helped by Carmelo Anthony shooting like Ray Allen at the Staples Center. After making 13 of his 16 attempts from 3-point range over the weekend, Anthony is now above 50% for the season and 23-for-34 (68%) in home games. He’s taken 2.6 times as many 3-pointers (46) as mid-range shots (19), having taken more 3-pointers than mid-range shots in only two of his previous 18 seasons. In his one season in Oklahoma City, it was 474 vs. 461, and in his 10 games in Houston, it was 64 to 30.

    LeBron James (1-for-16 from deep over the weekend) still hasn’t found his rhythm and the Lakers still aren’t healthy, but they still have two more weeks of an easy and home-heavy schedule.

    Week 3: vs. HOU, vs. OKC, @ POR

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-3

no. 9 (-4)

    Record: 1-2
    Pace: 105.0 (3) OffRtg: 108.3 (14) DefRtg: 112.0 (21) NetRtg: -3.7 (19)

    You would think that, even if there were chemistry issues and even if Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis combined to shoot 3-for-20 from 3-point range, the one thing the Lakers would be able to do right away is score inside. But as they lost their first two games, they totaled just 46 points in the restricted area, having averaged 38.6 last season and having added the most relentless north-south attacker of his generation.

    They barely escaped with their first win on Sunday, but the Lakers looked much stronger inside, scoring more restricted-area points against the Grizzlies (52) than they did in their first two games combined. Westbrook had just two of those 26 restricted-area buckets, but he assisted on 11 of the other 24, with a few really deft dimes within.

    If LeBron James is now more of a shooter than an attacker — he’s 7-for-20 in the paint and 21-for-40 outside it — than maybe this is a different team than we thought. Maybe he’s been more of a shooter than an attacker because he’s playing along side Davis and Westbrook. Maybe he’s 36 years old with 61,000 career minutes in his rearview mirror.

    The Lakers have three tough opponents in their rearview mirror. And their next six games are against the Spurs, Thunder (x2), Cavs and Rockets (x2).

    Week 2: @ SAS, @ OKC, vs. CLE, vs. HOU

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-2

no. 5

    2020-21 record: 42-30
    Pace: 98.8 (21) OffRtg: 109.8 (24) DefRtg: 106.8 (1) NetRtg: +2.9 (8)

    The Lakers went 0-6 in the preseason and were outscored by 50 points in 170 total minutes (14.1 per 48) with at least one of their three stars on the floor. Most of that damage (minus-41 in 72 minutes) was done with exactly one of the three on the floor, which could speak to issues with depth. Another issue with their depth: Injuries to Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington, Talen Horton-Tucker, Malik Monk and Kendrick Nunn. The hope is that the latter two will be available on Tuesday.

    Fewer guards (for the time being) should lead to more dependence on Carmelo Anthony and/or more minutes of Anthony Davis at the four. Russell Westbrook will have them playing faster (the Lakers saw the biggest jump in pace from last season to the preseason), but he will be disregarded in the half-court by defenses shading toward Davis and LeBron James (preseason examples here and here). How the Lakers deal with that will be the thing to watch early on.

    The Lakers have the league’s easiest first 20 games (in regard to last year’s numbers), and they’re playing 12 of their first 15 at home. But three (presumed) good teams are at Staples Center this week.

    Week 1: vs. GSW, vs. PHX, vs. MEM

https://www.nba.com/news/power-rankings-2021-22-week-1

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Last edited by JUST-MING on Mon Apr 04, 2022 12:27 pm; edited 33 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 3:35 am    Post subject:

Updated. They dropped nine spots.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2021 7:56 pm    Post subject:

Updated. They climbed a few spots.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2021 2:31 pm    Post subject:

Updated. Same as last week.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2021 5:26 am    Post subject:

Updated. Drop a spot.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2021 6:09 am    Post subject:

JUST-MING wrote:
Updated. Drop a spot.


Good, eyes away til playoff
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2021 4:00 am    Post subject:

Updated. Moved up some spots.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2021 6:11 am    Post subject:

Thanks for keeping this updated!

One question, what is the number in parenthesis?
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2021 11:46 am    Post subject:

Updated. Free falling.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2021 3:26 pm    Post subject:

Do we get to keep our lottery pick ?
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2021 3:29 pm    Post subject:

Do we get to keep our lottery pick next year?
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2021 10:33 pm    Post subject:

If you look at that list, we would have been just a few wins away from being in the top 10.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2021 8:29 am    Post subject:

Koalita wrote:
Thanks for keeping this updated!

One question, what is the number in parenthesis?


I think that it is the movement since the last rankings
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 5:17 am    Post subject:

Updated. Same spot as last week.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:18 pm    Post subject:

Updated. Dropped some spots again
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2022 6:59 pm    Post subject:

Thanks for the updates Just-Ming!

venturalakersfan wrote:
Koalita wrote:
Thanks for keeping this updated!

One question, what is the number in parenthesis?


I think that it is the movement since the last rankings


Yeah, I thought that as well, when I asked there were some weird numbers, probably just caught them between editing.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2022 7:21 pm    Post subject:

Updated. Will they rise or fall tomorrow?
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2022 1:56 pm    Post subject:

On the rise .
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2022 9:29 pm    Post subject:

Updated. Climbed a few spots.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2022 7:15 pm    Post subject:

Updated. Lowest they have fallen
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2022 12:25 pm    Post subject:

Updated. Climbed a spot
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2022 9:50 am    Post subject:

Updated. Dropped spots. Might need to break the first post into multiple posts
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2022 11:28 am    Post subject:

Dropped another spot. Right behind DC.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2022 12:28 pm    Post subject:

Dropped another spot.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2022 4:23 am    Post subject:

That was the final update. So they dropped from #5 at the start to finish #23.
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