The Portland Trail Blazers hovered in the various NBA Power Rankings thanks to a 2-2 week (Through Monday, when most Power Rankings go live), that included wins against the Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Clippers and losses to the Washington Wizards and Clippers.
Last week, the Blazers mostly ranked in the 16-17 range. This week, that's exactly where they stand again.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com ranks the Blazers No. 16 (down from No. 14).
So make that two triple-doubles for Nicolas Batum in his past four games -- after zero in his first 294 regular-season games. As tenuous as Portland's playoff aspirations are at the minute, something tells me you'd struggle to find many in the Pacific Northwest who regret Batum's contract now.
John Schuhmann of NBA.com ranks the Blazers No. 17 (same as last week).
Just when the Blazers appeared to be falling deep into Lottery land, they went and beat the Blazers and Clippers to get back over .500. Against L.A., Nicolas Batum messed around and got his second triple-double in three games. He's one of only three players (Kevin Durant and Josh Smith are the other two) averaging at least 15 points, six rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block.
Matt Dollinger of SI.com ranks the Blazers No. 16 (up from No. 17). Note: this one was posted last Friday.
Find a sixth man, a seventh man, an eighth man ...: It's a true testament to the starting lineup that the Blazers are at .500. Portland's reserves rank last in the league in scoring (16.5 points per game), 9.2 points behind the next worst team (Memphis, at 25.7). It's going to be tough for the Blazers to continue their current pace in the second half if Terry Stotts can't give his starters a break. The Rockets just pulled off a savvy midseason pickup from overseas; maybe the Blazers should start looking there as well.
Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk ranks the Blazers No. 16 (same as last week).
They are stumbling of late, 3-7 in their last 10, and starting Friday they will have seven of eight games on the road. They are one game out of a playoff spot now and can't slip way back during this upcoming stretch.
Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports ranks the Blazers No. 17 (down from No. 15).
The Blazers have dropped seven of their past nine games. The Lakers have their eyes on passing them in the West standings, and Portland has little margin of error if it wants to be a playoff team.
Matt Moore of CBSSports.com ranks the Blazers No. 16 (down from No. 13).
I've dubbed their penchant for pulling out crazy wins through bizarre means "the Chaos Engine." It runs on entropy.
David Aldridge of NBA.com did not include the Blazers in his "Fine 15".
Seth Rosenthal of SB Nation ranks the Blazers No. 16 (up from No. 17).
They kinda looked sunk after losing to some inferior opponents, but Portland turned around and opened a tough stretch with a couple impressive wins. Still, they really can't afford some of these losses -- a home game against the Wizards this week -- while scrapping for a bottom playoff spot in the West.
John Hollinger (formerly) of ESPN.com ranks the Blazers No. 20 (up from No. 24).
According to Hollinger's team stats, the Blazers ranked...
- No. 14 (same as last week) in offensive efficiency
- No. 21 (same as last week) in defensive efficiency
- No. 16 (same as last week) in rebound rate
- No. 18 (same as last week) in pace
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter