The Portland Trail Blazers dropped in the latest round of NBA Power Rankings after an 0-3 week (Through Monday, when most Power Rankings go live) that included losses to the Brooklyn Nets, Utah Jazz and Golden State Warriors.
Last week, the Blazers mostly ranged from 16-18. This week, they placed from 18-21.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com ranks the Blazers No. 20 (down from No. 18).
All nine games on their April schedule are against teams either in the playoffs or right on the cusp (Utah and Dallas). You could say the same about the Blazers' last seven games. And remember: Portland finishing 12th or higher in the lottery prevents its first-round pick from going to Charlotte.
John Schuhmann of NBA.com ranks the Blazers No. 21 (down from No. 17 last week).
The Blazers have seemingly let go of the rope. Their defense has always been bad, but it's reached the "atrocious" level, allowing 118 points allowed per 100 possessions and 60 paint points per game, as they've lost four straight. They trailed both the Nets and Warriors by at least 28 points, gave up 58 points in the second half to the Thunder, and blew a fourth-quarter lead to the Jazz.
Matt Dollinger of SI.com ranks the Blazers No. 20 (down from No. 17 last week). Note: this one was posted last Friday.
Is J.J. Hickson the most underrated big man in the league? You could certainly make the case. He ranks in the top 10 in field-goal percentage and rebound percentage and is one of 10 players averaging a double-double. At 24, the power forward is only scratching the surface on his potential and will be even more dangerous once he develops a low-post game. Hickson is shooting just 36 percent on shots between 3-10 feet this year.
Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk.com ranks the Blazers No. 21 (down from No. 18 last week).
Some teams look like they have folded the tents and are just playing out the string. Portland would be in that category, having dropped four in a row.
Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports ranks the Blazers No. 19 (down from No. 18 last week).
Damian Lillard continues to be one of the few bright spots for Portland as he now owns the NBA's record for 3-pointers by a rookie. Hey, wasn't his shot in question before the draft?
Matt Moore of CBSSports.com ranks the Blazers No. 19 (down from No. 17 last week).
Almost time to shut everybody down after a better-than-expected season.
John Hollinger (formerly) of ESPN.com ranks the Blazers No. 18 (down from No. 16 last week).
According to Hollinger's team stats, the Blazers ranked...
- No. 12 (same as last week) in offensive efficiency
- No. 25 (down from No. 24 last week) in defensive efficiency
- No. 17 (down from No. 16 as last week) in rebound rate
- No. 19 (same as last week) in pace
Hollinger's Playoff odds: 0.0 percent (down from 6.2 percent)
Basketball-Reference.com Playoff Forecast: 0.0 percent (down from 3.0 percent)
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter