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December 13, 2019
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NBA Power Rankings Week 4

NBA Power Rankings Week 4
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Three weeks down, three different No. 1 teams.

In this edition, it’s the Los Angeles Lakers who, despite seeing their seven-game win streak snapped Sunday night against the Toronto Raptors, climb to the top, thanks to a 1-3 week by the Philadelphia 76ers.

Throughout the regular season, our panel (ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Andre’ Snellings, Royce Young and Bobby Marks and The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears) is ranking all 30 teams from top to bottom, taking stock of which teams are playing the best basketball and which teams are looking most like title contenders.

Previous rankings: Week 3 | 2 | 1 | Training camp | Free agency | Post-Finals

1. Los Angeles Lakers
Record: 7-2
Week 3 ranking: 2

Kyle Kuzma‘s play has been up and down since his return to action after he missed the start of the season because of a foot injury. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 9.0 points on 37.5% shooting from the field and 13% shooting from 3-point range entering Sunday’s loss to Toronto. But he showed the makings of a breakthrough with 15 points — his second game in double digits — five rebounds and three 3-pointers against the Raptors. The defeat was L.A.’s first since opening night against the Clippers. — Spears

This week: @PHX, GS, SAC, ATL

2. LA Clippers
Record: 6-3
Week 3 ranking: 3

Load management dominated the conversation around the Clippers this week and prevented a real look at what a Bucks-Clippers Finals might look like, as Kawhi Leonard sat. He played a night later, scoring 18 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to ice Portland. Blazers coach Terry Stotts had the appropriate response: “He looked well-rested.” The expectation is that Paul George will return this week, which means that when the Clippers decide to rest Leonard again, they’ll have an available star. It also means we’ll finally see how this team looks when fully operational. — Young

This week: TOR, @HOU, @NO, ATL

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