The 14-10 Portland Trail Blazers went 2-2 last week, remaining No. 4 in the Northwest Division while improving to No. 6 in the Western Conference. The strong play at home, weak play on the road formula earned split results among the NBA Power Rankings, although Portland's recent home blowout wins over the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, Charlotte Bobcats, Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings have apparently sent John Hollinger's statistical system into a tizzy.
Here's the round-up. Last week's rankings, if available, appear in parentheses.
Marc Stein, ESPN.com: Blazers are No. 10 (No. 14)
It's not just road games troubling the Blazers. Since a tight home win over Philly on opening night, Portland has lost seven straight games decided by five or fewer points, including visits to Utah and Sac-Town last week. Repetitive crunch-time failures can be random, true, but also can seriously dent a team's confidence.
John Hollinger, ESPN.com: Blazers are No. 2 (7)
John Schuhmann, NBA.com: Blazers are No. 14 (No. 14)
LaMarcus Aldridge, averaging 25.4 points on 61 percent shooting in his last five games, has to be a lock for his first All-Star appearance. After an ugly loss in Sacramento, the Blazers began a huge three-game homestand with a nice win over the Nuggets. The Thunder (Monday) and Rockets (Wednesday) visit next.
David Aldridge, NBA.com: Blazers are No. 14 (No. 12)
Dominating at home is important, but until the Blazers figure out how to compete better away from the Rose Garden, they're not for real in the West.
Chris Sheridan, SheridanHoops.com: Blazers are No. 13 (No. 9)
Losing to Kings on second-night of back-to-back is inexcusable when you are coming off a 44-point victory over Charlotte. Also lost to Jazz, and victory over Denver tainted by Nuggets' travel and tiredness issues (see above). Outstanding home record will be put to test Mon vs. OKC and Wed. vs Houston. Home fans booed Greg Oden when he was shown on video board. Another ouch for the big fella.
Kurt Helin, ProBasketballTalk.com: Blazers are No. 13 (13)
Beat Utah at home, lost to the Kings on the road. This is just a Jekyll and Hyde team inside or outside the Rose Garden - 11-1 at home, 3-9 on the road.
Tom Ziller, SBNation.com: Blazers are No. 9
The past week was a perfect view into the Blazers' season to date: they are good enough to beat Charlotte and Denver in Portland by a combined 64 points, and just bad enough on the road to lose to both the Jazz and the Kings. LaMarcus Aldridge is a sure-bet All-Star, though, and the No. 4 seed in the West is within range. That'd get the Blazers a real opportunity to make it to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in a long time.
Jeff Sagarin, USA Today: Blazers are No. 10 (No. 7)
John Hollinger of ESPN.com's advanced stat rankings...
- No. 12 in Offensive Efficiency (same as last week)
- No. 4 in Defensive Efficiency (up from No. 7)
- No. 6 in Pace (same as last week)
- No. 9 in Rebound Rate (down from No. 4)
Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge is currently No. 18 in the NBA in dunks with 25, according to the CBSSports.com Dunk-O-Meter.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter