Week 8 Power Rankings: Clippers soaring

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Week 8 Power Rankings: Clippers soaring

By Tony Andracki & Mark Strotman

Each Monday throughout the regular season, Mark Strotman and Tony Andracki will rank all 30 NBA teams. Below are Week 7 Power Rankings. Think we're way off? Agree with our picks? Hit us up on Twitter at@BullsTalkCSNwith comments or criticisms.
Past rankings:PreseasonWeek 1Week 2Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7

Tony
MarkComments1
Tony:Hey, they finally lost!
Mark: Best team in the NBA, and they are coached by Vinny del Negro.
2
Tony: Hey, they still haven't lost since November!
Mark: Win streak is over, but OKC-Miami will be lots of fun tomorrow.
3
Tony: Parker and Co. spoiled TheReturn: Dirk Edition.
Mark: LeBron went 250 minutes without committing a foul? Wow.
4
Tony: Need to get LeBron some help.
Mark: Kawhi Leonard making a big impact after his return from injury.
5
Tony: Can't handle Bulls, Rockets.
Mark: Nasty week, but Carmelo is still playing out of his mind.
6
Tony: What happens if 31-year-old Randolph gets hurt?
Mark: Recent struggles, but still just 1 game behind the Spurs for the division.7
Tony: Not much star power, but very solid all-around squad.
Mark: Marc Jackson continues to successfully coach easily the biggest surprise in the NBA.8
Tony: Curry should be getting some MVP votes. He's been phenomenal.
Mark: Good for them to get a big win over Chicago last week.9
Tony: Not quite consistent enough yet, but rounding into form.
Mark: If they replicate this success until Rose returns, Bulls will fight for East supremacy.
10
Tony: Just won't let Bulls run away with the division.
Mark: Interested to see how Omer Asik responds to Joakim Noah's comments.
11
Tony: At least they have the Knicks' number, ya know?
Mark: Deepest team in league finding stride, beating Memphis and San Antonio last 2 weeks.
12
Tony: If McGee can stay under control, he's a solid, efficient role player.
Mark: Nash coming back, but will it make a difference for West's No. 11 seed?
13
Tony: So now Humphries is getting benched? Too much drama in Brooklyn.
Mark: Same as Bulls, patiently waiting until their superstar (Granger) returns.
14
Tony: Ellis can just take over games sometimes.
Mark: Jennings trade talks heating up, and they will be until the deadline.
15
Tony: Kevin Love just needs to stay on the court.
Mark: Rubio beginning to ramp up minutes can only mean good things for Minnesota.16
Tony: On outside of playoff race if season ended today.
Mark: Struggled against fierce competition, as expected by most.
17
Tony: Can still be exploited inside by most teams.
Mark:Bynum thinks he can still contribute this season; I'll say he doesn't.
18
Tony: J.J. Hickson is actually playing pretty well.
Mark: What did Avery Johnson do to Deron Williams' field goal percentage?
19
Tony: Fading fast, and even with Holiday back and playing at high level again.
Mark: Pierce is on fire lately, but his teammates aren't matching the effort.
20
Tony: On a four-game win streak, but they've had to fight and claw for every victory.
Mark: Wes Matthews needs to get healthy, as the playoffs are a possibility in diluted West.
21
Tony: To say Dirk's return could've gone better is an understatement.
Mark: So what will Dwight Howard say if the Magic make the playoffs and he doesn't?
22
Tony: Still just kinda hangin' around.
Mark: Fading fast, need some shakeups.
23
Tony: I just don't get Alvin Gentry's rotation. At all.
Mark: 12-16 Mavs must love having Dirk back.
24
Tony: They're on a five-game win streak and they're still only 9-19? Ouch.
Mark: Two straight wins after losing six in a row, eight of nine.
25
Tony: Andre Drummond looking like a solid future piece.
Mark: 5 straight wins, but Houston the only opponent of note.
26
Tony: The DeMarcus Cousins situation has just become laughable.
Mark:Cavs probably need to deal Varejao and continue rebuilding.
27
Tony: Ridiculous that a six-win team is 27th.
Mark:With Evans, Cousins out, Kings score 105 points. Go figure.
28
Tony: It's like a race with Nawlins for worst record in NBA. They may never win again.
Mark: Would love to see Anthony Davis, Austin Rivers and Eric Gordon together soon.
29
Tony: Seriously? 11 straight losses? At least Davis has grown another half-inch in NO.
Mark: 15 losses in a row. It's last year all over again.
30
Tony:Amazing that a seven-game losing streak is far from worst in league.
Mark: Bradley Beal and Jordan Crawford will work well when John Wall returns.

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Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks battle Bruins tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks battle Bruins tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Boston Bruins tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Scott Darling gets the nod.

Joel Quenneville is giving a struggling Corey Crawford a breather tonight, electing to go with Darling in the final game of the father's road trip. Darling is 11-4-2 with a 2.34 goals against average, .924 save percentage and one shutout in 20 games this season. His numbers aren't as great on the road, where he is 4-2-1 with a 2.83 GAA and .901 save percentage compared to a 7-2-1 record with a 1.98 GAA and .928 save percentage at home, but he fared well against Boston last season. The Lemont native stopped 42 of 46 shots, good for a .913 save percentage, in a 6-4 win at the United Center last April.

2. The Panarin-Anisimov-Kane line.

The Blackhawks' trio of Artem Anisimov, Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin had a rare zero points in Tuesday's 6-4 win over Colorado, but don't expect to see that again. In fact, it could be the opposite. In their last meeting against the Bruins, a 6-4 win on April 3 during the 2015-16 season, they combined for 11 points (five goals, six assists), highlighted by a Kane hat trick that put him at 100 points on the season for the first time in his career. 

3. How the rookies build off a monsterous game.

In arguably the most well-rounded victory of the season Tuesday in Colorado, the Blackhawks had three rookies that had multi-point efforts. Vinnie Hinostroza had two goals, including the game winner. Tanner Kero had two goals and one assist, while Nick Schmaltz also had a goal and an assist. It was the top-six that was doing the heavy lifting earlier in the season, now the bottom-six is slowly starting to contribute on a consistent basis. The Blackhawks will be in great shape if they can confidently roll four lines that have the potential to find the back of the net on any given shift.

4. Patrice Bergeron vs. Jonathan Toews.

Two of the best two-way centers in the league will go head-to-head, and it's always a fun matchup to watch. Bergeron leads the league with 597 faceoff wins, and is ranked fifth with a 58.4 percentage at the dot while Toews ranks eighth in wins with 473 — despite missing nine games with a back injury — and sits at sixth with a 57.5 percentage. Both of the perennial Selke Trophy candidates have struggled offensively this season, with Bergeron recording only 21 points in 45 games and Toews with 22 points in 38 contests. Bergeron has been heating up as of late, though, scoring three goals and six assists in his last eight games. Bergeron also leads the league in possession numbers, with the Bruins controlling 61.9 percent of the even-strength shot attempts when he's on the ice.

5. Brad Marchand.

In September, Marchand inked an eight-year, $49 million deal and it's already paying dividends for the Bruins. He has 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in his last eight games, and 45 points total, which is by far the most on his team and tied for sixth in the NHL. He's 16 points away from tying his career high of 61 set last season, with a little less than half the year to go. He's also had great success against the Blackhawks. In his last six games against Chicago, dating back to the 2013-14 campaign, he has registered at least a point in all of them, scoring four goals and adding five assists. To make life more difficult, he's a player that enjoys getting under people's skin, so expect him to be a big factor tonight.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

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