In the Rankings: Week 18

Every Monday, the Lakers Basketblog checks the net to bring you the latest NBA power rankings.

NBA.com
This Week: 2 | Last Week: 1 | Diff: -1

It’s got to be tough to lose a game when your two All-Stars combine to score 79 points, but that’s what happened to the Lakers on Sunday in Phoenix. That makes two straight losses for L.A., putting them even with the Cavs in the loss column. And after a pair of easy home games this week, they play 10 of 13 games on the road.

ESPN.com
This Week: 1 | Last Week: 1 | Diff: N/A

Let the debate begin. Do the Lakers deserve a one-week pardon after leaking 118 points to a Suns team without Nash or Stoudemire … after winning 11 of 12 without Bynum? We say yes. Barely.

SI.com
This Week: 2 | Last Week: 1 | Diff: -1

With road losses to Denver and Phoenix, the Lakers have dropped back-to-back games for the first time since mid-January. Meanwhile, reports out of L.A. say Andrew Bynum is on schedule to return before the end of the regular season. The 7-footer has yet to start running but is able to ride a stationary bike as he recovers from a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee.

USAToday.com
This Week: 1 | Last Week: 1 | Diff: N/A

Lakers might be better offensively without Bynum, but miss his defensive presence.

Average Ranking: This Week: 1.5 | Last Week: 1 | Diff: -.5