Blazers tumble in ESPN's Future Power Rankings
"Portland was the top-ranked team when the season began, but the Blazers' precipitous drop to sixth comes as a result of a sluggish 14-11 start that caused us to re-evaluate their talent base. In retrospect, we may have been overly optimistic the first time around.
Although the Blazers' roster still appears formidable, virtually every player has underperformed expectations or given us reason to doubt him. Most prominently, the season-ending knee injury to Greg Oden requires us to treat the Blazers center as a high risk to miss more time in the future. The struggles of Brandon Roy hurt, too, as they make last season look like a possible outlier. Add in struggles of young core players Martell Webster and Rudy Fernandez as well as LaMarcus Aldridge's inability to progress beyond his current level, and Portland dropped from first to fifth in the players category -- accounting for the Blazers' decline in the rankings."