In the Rankings: Week 21

Every Monday, the Lakers Basketblog checks the net to bring you the latest NBA power rankings.
This Week: 5 | Last Week: 5 | Diff: 0

With Sunday’s loss to Golden State, the Lakers are now a game behind the Hornets in the loss column, but they’ve nine of their last 12 games are at STAPLES Center (including a “road game” against the Clippers), and the big guys are on their way back.
This Week: 4 | Last Week: 5 | Diff: +1

Nothing could have topped Boston’s week, but the Lakers were at least in that zip code before losing at home to Golden State. Wins don’t get much bigger than L.A.’s roadies in Dallas and Utah without Pau and Bynum.
This Week: 3 | Last Week: 9 | Diff: +6

They made a statement of their own by winning back-to-back at Dallas and Utah (without Pau Gasol) to finish 2-2 on their recent trip. With nine of their final 12 at Staples Center (including a “road” game against the Clippers), Kobe Bryant’s crew is well-positioned for a top seed — even if Andrew Bynum doesn’t return until the playoffs.

Average Ranking: This Week: 4 | Last Week: 6 | Diff: +2