In the Rankings: Week 3

Every Monday the BasketBlog checks the net to bring you the latest NBA power rankings.

The Lakers took what could be one of their toughest four game stretches of the season and turned it into a successful 3-1 record with wins at Houston, before coming home to defeat the Pistons and Bulls.

Aide came from the opponents injury list. Houston star Tracy McGrady left the game early in the second quarter, Detroit was without starters Chauncey Billups & Antonio McDyess, and Chicago was missing forward Luol Deng.

Injuries aside, the Lakers took care of the business on the floor and snagged three wins while not playing their best basketball.

The team got off to sluggish starts in all three games and relied heavily on the “bench mob” to provide the spark that keyed all three victories.

The only blemish came at the hands of the defending champion Spurs on Tuesday night in a game that got away from them early in the second quarter.
This Week: 8 | Last Week: 10 | Diff: +2

We’re starting to realize that Kobe and the Lakers can put the drama aside when they take the floor. We just wonder if the drama will ever completely go away.
This Week: 7 | Last Week: 10 | Diff: +3

Kudos to every other Laker. They got a little more help with T-Mac going down Wednesday and Chauncey sitting out Friday, but they’ve also been nails through all the Kobe chatter. Especially compared to Chicago.
This Week: 11 | Last Week: 9 | Diff: -2

Like Denver, they just can’t seem to keep their big men healthy either. Kwame Brown (knee) has joined Ronny Turiaf (ankle) on the sidelines, meaning Andrew Bynum, Chris Mihm and Brian Cook will have to step up. On the positive side, Jordan Farmar continues to provide a spark off the bench.

Average Ranking: 8.66 | Last Week: 9.66 | Diff: +1

Overall the Lakers pick up a point in the rankings, but it could have been more. Dropping two spots in SI’s poll after a 3-1 week is suspect.

The upcoming week sees the team hit the road for three road games (at Indiana, at Milwaukee, at Boston) before returning home to celebrate the 5th annual Chick Hearn Night against the Nets on Sunday.