The Portland Trail Blazers hovered in the same range in the various NBA Power Rankings thanks to an 2-1 week (through Monday, when most power rankings go live). Last week, the Blazers ranked in the 17-22 range.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com ranks the Blazers No. 20 (same as last week).
Another surprise entry for the Damian Lillard files: The committee (of one) did a spot on an England-based radio show Sunday night and fielded a question from a listener via text. Not about Surrey's own Joel Freeland, though. A question about Damian Lillard. On English radio!
John Schuhmann of NBA.com ranks the Blazers No. 19 (up from No. 21).
When you've won games against the Spurs and Nuggets, your five-game winning streak is not supposed to end in Sacramento against a bad team missing two of its best players. It didn't help that it was the second night of a back-to-back, but the Blazers were 3-1 in those before Sunday. They've lost two straight to the Kings and finish the season series on Wednesday.
Matt Dollinger of SI.com ranks the Blazers No. 22 (down from 20). Note: this one was posted last Friday.
J.J. Hickson is giving the Blazers all they could ask for after signing the big man to a one-year, $4 million deal this offseason. Hickson has started every game and is one of just 12 players averaging a double-double. He's been efficient on the offensive end (55.7 percent) and the team's best rebounder on both ends, pulling down 22.1 percent of rebounds while he's on the floor, the fourth-best mark in the league. With LaMarcus Aldridge out with a sprained ankle Thursday, Hickson had 18 points and 18 rebounds for his sixth straight double-double as Portland defeated Denver to extend its winning streak to four.
Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk ranks the Blazers No. 19 (up from No. 20).
A team that got Damian Lillard in its stocking last June can't be greedy asking Santa for much. But expect them to ask other teams for a rebounding/defensive big to pair with Aldridge anyway.
Seth Rosenthal of SB Nation ranks the Blazers No. 19 (down from No. 17).
.500! The Blazers made it! They surpassed it, actually, but perhaps flew close to the sun before falling to the Kings behind some familiar ills (that bench, for one).
John Hollinger of ESPN.com ranks the Blazers No. 22 (same as last week).
According to Hollinger's team states, the Blazers ranked...
- No. 13 (up from No. 14) in offensive efficiency
- No. 22 (up from No. 24) in defensive efficiency
- No. 19 (up from No. 22) in rebound rate
- No. 19 (up from No. 22) in pace
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter