The Portland Trail Blazers are 13-2 on the season after enjoying a 4-0 week (through Sunday) that included wins over the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls and Golden State Warriors.
Here's how the Blazers stack up in the various NBA power rankings following week four of the 2013-14 season.In last week's week three rankings, the Blazers ranged from No. 4 to No. 10. This week, Portland is ranked between No. 3 and No. 5, rising on just about every set of Power Rankings.
My apologies that this post is up one day later than usual.
No. 3 (Last week: 7): Marc Stein, ESPN.com
Sorry, folks. I've lost my appetite to focus on all the sub-.500 victims in Portland's 10-game winning streak, as we did extensively on the set of "NBA Coast to Coast" last Monday, because this little scheduling detail is important, too: Six of the Blazers' 10 straight wins were on the road.
No. 4 (Last week: 6): Marc Spears, Yahoo! Sports
The Blazers grew closer when they immediately came to the aid of Joel Freeland in a skirmish and comeback win against the Warriors.
No. 5 (Last week: 7): Matt Dollinger, SI.com
Is it time we start looking at the Blazers as contenders? Portland has won 10 straight, but a closer examination reveals only two wins over teams currently with winning records. The Blazers might be the hottest team in the league, but they won't be in the conversation for the NBA's best until they beat the best.
No. 3 (Last week: 8): Matt Moore, CBSSports.com
Fantastic series of wins vs. an incredibly tough schedule. Won five straight in seven days. Their commitment to playing sound basketball will keep them within striking range vs. any opponent now.
No. 4 (Last week: 4): Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk
Stan Van Gundy is impressed - he told us on the PBT podcastthat he really likes the job Terry Stotts is doing in Portland, particularly with their Top 5 offense. He also isn't sold they can sustain this pace (neither am I) but this is a nice cushion built up against future slumps.
No. 4 (Last week: 6): John Schuhmann, NBA.com
Wesley Matthews is shooting 3-pointers like they're layups right now, and you had better guard him early, because he's hit 13 of his last 18 first-quarter threes. More importantly, the Blazers continue to hold their opponents in check from beyond the arc. Andre Iguodala was out for Golden State, but Portland certainly passed the first big defensive test of their 10-game winning streak on Saturday.
No. 4 (Last week: 10): David Aldridge, NBA.com
I don't know if the Blazers can keep this up, but that was an awfully impressive win Saturday night on the second end of a back-to-back at Golden State for their 10th consecutive victory.
No. 4 (Last week: 6): Jason Patt, SB Nation
I said last week that I wanted to see a bit more from the Blazers in order to put them in the top five. Well, Portland has won 10 straight games and look completely legit. It looked like the Blazers' winning streak was going to come to an end Friday, but they erased a 21-point deficit and pulled out a big win over Chicago.
No. 4 (Last week: 6): USA Today Sports
They mostly have their health now. You cannot say that about most Blazers teams.
No. 4 (Last week: 8): Hollinger Power Rankings
- Offensive Efficiency: No. 4 (Last week: No. 3)
- Defensive Efficiency: No. 13 (Last week: No. 19)
- Rebound Rate: No. 6 (Last week: No. 5)
- Pace: No. 20 (Last week: No. 18)
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter