Los Angeles Lakers remain in top-two of NBA Power Rankings

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers remain near the top of the most recent NBA Power Rankings, trailing only the Milwaukee Bucks.

With NBA All-Star Weekend already behind us, it is time for the Los Angeles Lakers to ramp things up for the stretch run of the season. The Lakers currently lead the Western Conference with a record of 41-12, four games clear of the second-place Denver Nuggets, whom the Lakers defeated in the final game before the All-Star break.

Los Angeles went into the All-Star break playing some solid basketball. They are riding a three-game winning streak and have won five of their last six games to remain atop the conference.

Given how great they are playing, it is no surprise that they are the No. 2 ranked team in the most recent NBA Power Rankings. The Lakers come in behind only the Milwaukee Bucks, who are dominating the Eastern Conference with a 46-8 record, 6.5 games ahead of the second-place Toronto Raptors.

Putting the Lakers behind the Bucks is fair, as they not only have a better record but won the first head-to-head matchup this season, 111-104 on December 19th. The second and final matchup this season will occur on March 6th, this time at the STAPLES Center.

Having nine days off between games should help rejuvenate the Lakers coming out of the break. The fact they get to start things off after the All-Star break at home is even better.

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Los Angeles will play two games this week, hosting the Memphis Grizzlies and Boston Celtics on Friday and Sunday in the first two games of their homestand. The third game will be played against the New Orleans Pelicans.

All three of those games will be exciting ones. Ja Morant has led a recharged Grizzlies group. In their latest matchup, the Lakers barely escaped Memphis with a 109-108 victory.

The Lakers will have revenge on their mind when they face the Celtics. Boston blew them out back on January 20th, 139-107. It was arguably the worst game Los Angeles played all season and they will look to return the favor.

The games against the Pelicans are always going to be must-see events. After acquiring Anthony Davis from New Orleans before the 2019 NBA Draft, there are a lot of familiar faces on both sides.

All-Star Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball will all be returning back to the first place they called home in the NBA. Also, No. 1 overall pick, Zion Williamson, will be making his first appearance against the Lakers and at the STAPLES Center, as he missed the first two matchups this season.

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Getting to remain at home an extra couple days should do the Laker some good as they look to carry over the momentum from before the All-Star game into the final 29 games of the season.