The Portland Trail Blazers hovered once again in the latest round of NBA Power Rankings after a 2-1 home stand (Through Monday, when most Power Rankings go live) that included wins over the New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons and a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Last week, the Blazers mostly ranged from 17-20. This week, it was essentially the same.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com ranks the Blazers No. 20 (down from No. 17).
One more long road trip and three more national TV dates (March 27 vs. Brooklyn and April 5 vs. Houston on ESPN; April 16 at the Clips) for the Damian Lillard Show. J.J. Hickson, meanwhile, is up to 10 games with at least 15 points and 15 rebounds, tied with Zach Randolph for second overall.
John Schuhmann of NBA.com ranks the Blazers No. 20 (same as last week).
The Blazers have the league's No. 1 offense in March, scoring more than 116 points per 100 possessions over eight games. A two point guard lineup has been key, as they've committed fewer than 10 turnovers per 100 possessions in 122 minutes with both Eric Maynor and Damian Lillard on the floor. If they sustain anything close to that through five road games in seven days, it will be more than noteworthy.
Matt Dollinger of SI.com ranks the Blazers No. 17 (up from No. 18 last week). Note: this one was posted last Friday.
Inside Man. The Blazers' biggest theft came last summer when they drafted Rookie of the Year favorite Damian Lillard with the sixth pick and got their franchise point guard. But Portland's also been stealing wins all season despite one of the shallowest rosters in the league. Just for good measure, the team nabbed its new best bench player, Eric Maynor, from the Thunder when Oklahoma City decided it no longer had room for him. All in all, not a bad heist.
Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk.com ranks the Blazers No. 19 (up from No. 20).
Going small with Damian Lillard and Eric Maynor in the backcourt together has Portland playing some fantastic offensive ball. Five road games this week, tough schedule that includes stops in Chicago, Atlanta and Oklahoma City.
Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports ranks the Blazers No. 19 (same as last week).
The falling Blazers have split their past 10 games and have a brutal schedule the rest of March at Milwaukee, at Chicago, at Atlanta, at Oklahoma City, vs. Brooklyn, vs. Utah and at Golden State.
Matt Moore of CBSSports.com ranks the Blazers No. 17 (same as last week).
Beat Memphis and New York, lose to the Sixers. Makes sense.
David Aldridge of NBA.com did not include the Blazers in his "fine 15" this week.
John Hollinger (formerly) of ESPN.com ranks the Blazers No. 18 (up from No. 20 last week).
According to Hollinger's team stats, the Blazers ranked...
- No. 10 (up from No. 12 last week) in offensive efficiency
- No. 24 (up from No. 25 last week) in defensive efficiency
- No. 16 (down from No. 17 last week) in rebound rate
- No. 19 (down from No. 20 last week) in pace
Hollinger's Playoff odds: 2.2 percent (down from 5.5 percent)
Basketball-Reference.com Playoff Forecast: 0.6 percent (down from 2.6 percent)
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter