The 12-8 Portland Trail Blazers went 3-1 last week, remaining No. 4 in the Northwest Division while improving to No. 7 in the Western Conference. This earned a minor boost in most of the NBA Power Rankings.
Here's the round-up. Last week's rankings, if available, appear in parentheses.
Marc Stein, ESPN.com: Blazers are No. 14 (No. 16)
Only two teams in the Western Conference have a better nightly average point differential than the Blazers' +4.9 nearly a third of the way into the season: Denver at +7.2 and OKC at +6.2. But the Blazers' ongoing road struggles and inconsistent guard play are getting more attention. Justifiably so, Blazermaniacs?
John Hollinger, ESPN.com: Blazers are No. 7 (13)
John Schuhmann, NBA.com: Blazers are No. 14 (No. 15)
The Blazers play a big game in Utah on Monday, but they've lost six of their last eight away games, struggling offensively. Gerald Wallace has shot 63 percent at the Rose Garden, but just 30 percent on the road. No player with at least 50 shots both at home and away has nearly as big a differential.
David Aldridge, NBA.com: Blazers are No. 15 (No. 15)
Like Spurs, Blazers have no trouble winning at home (9-1, tied with Chicago for second-best home record in the league), but can't get it done on the road (3-7).
Chris Sheridan, SheridanHoops.com: Blazers are No. 9 (No. 16)
Five of next seven are at home, where they are 9-1 (tied with Chicago for 2nd-best behind Spurs). Marcus Camby did not score a point but grabbed 20 rebounds in 38-point win over Suns. It was the second 0/20 game of Camby's career. There have been only 10 other 0/20 games in NBA history. Dennis Rodman had seven of them.
Kurt Helin, ProBasketballTalk.com: Blazers are No. 13 (No. 15)
Fantastic at home (9-1) but pretty weak on the road. Good news is they have a string of games at home starting later in the week.
Jeff Sagarin, USA Today: Blazers are No. 7 (No. 9)
John Hollinger of ESPN.com's advanced stat rankings...
- No. 12 in Offensive Efficiency (up from No. 14)
- No. 7 in Defensive Efficiency (up from No. 8)
- No. 6 in Pace (up from No. 7)
- No. 4 in Rebound Rate (up from No. 18)
Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge is currently No. 21 in the NBA in dunks with 20, according to the CBSSports.com Dunk-O-Meter.
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