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Dan McQuade's NBA Power Rankings

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30. Los Angeles Lakers (Last week: 6)

It's now an annual tradition! Sometime in the second half of the season, everyone -- sometimes including the team itself -- freaks out about the Lakers and declares their impressive run over. There are two ways to look at this: You could explain how the Lakers are 38-19 with the second-best point differential in the Western Conference and while there are major concerns with the team, these have been evident all season, and there's no reason to act as if the world has ended, though, okay, losing to the Cavaliers is pretty bad... or you can join in, and even go all out, and rank the Lakers last in your power rankings.

Of course, I've chosen the latter. I reserve the right to rank a team last for a week if their week is this bad. The Lakers lost to a team they beat by 55 earlier in the year, they lost to Charlotte by 20, they lost pretty convincingly to the Magic on national TV. They definitely had the worst week of anybody in the NBA. So they're 30th for a week. They'll be back in the top 10 next week ... maybe.

And, hey, things could be worse. Check this headline: "Lakers-Time Warner Cable Deal Is More Bad News for Non-Sports Fans." People who hate sports probably had a worse week than the Lakers, thanks to this deal (and the continued popularity of sports).

(AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

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