L.A. climbs in The Athletic’s latest NBA power ranking

The Los Angeles Lakers came off a tough losing streak to a four-game winning streak before falling to the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.

But last week in particular, the Lakers beat the Sacramento Kings in a close game and beat the Atlanta Hawks in double digits before losing to Memphis.

READ: Rookie Wire’s latest power leaderboard as Memphis takes the league by storm

The week’s 2-1 record saw the Lakers rise in a new power ranking from The Athletic’s Zach Harper:

Considering Anthony Davis has only played five games since early December, maybe the Los Angeles Lakers have a score of 0.500 in those 18 games is actually a positive sign. They got waxed by Memphis on Sunday, but they’ve been playing better basketball lately. LeBron James scores big points as a de facto cross, and sometimes those points lead to wins. Other times, it makes things a little more acceptable to see him looking good on the pitch.

Russell Westbrook has also been pretty reliable and Malik Monk is starting to really gain recognition for his game. The Lakers just need defensive consistency, and I don’t think that’s happening without a healthy AD. He’s on his way home, but it’s unreasonable to expect him to fix the defense right away.

This week is calm. The Lakers only play two games: a Wednesday against the Kings for the last time of the regular season and a Saturday against the Denver Nuggets.

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