Power Rankings: Lakers edge Suns for No. 1 spot
Two teams made a strong claim for the top spot in ESPN.com's weekly NBA Power Rankings on the fifth Monday of the regular season.
|ESPN.com Senior Writer Marc Stein|
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The tiebreakers, in this case, are the street cred L.A. sports as an unquestioned title favorite as well as its 19-point pounding of the Suns in the teams' only head-to-head meeting (although that game was the second half of a back-to-back for Phoenix and its sixth road date in seven games). Remember, the big picture is always part of the power-computing equation in the "human" version of the NBA rankings and Steve Nash would be the first to tell you that the Lakers -- especially since Pau Gasol's return from injury -- remain a notch or three ahead of the Suns in that category.
Other prominent upward movers include Orlando (inching from No. 4 to No. 3), Cleveland (rising from No. 7 to No. 4 thanks in part to slips by Atlanta, Denver and Dallas) and Houston (sneaking up to No. 9 largely because there was no obvious "next" after the current Elite Eight).