The Portland Trail Blazers moved up across the board in the various NBA Power Rankings thanks to an 3-0 week hrough Monday, when most power rankings go live). Last week, the Blazers ranked in the 21-25 range.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com ranks the Blazers No. 20 (up from 25).
The Blazers have quietly inched to the brink of .500 by winning six of seven games at home, gratefully watching Nic Batum and J.J. Hickson extend their best-ever starts ... while naturally reveling in how ROY favorite Damian Lilliard just capped his first duel with The Unibrow.
John Schuhmann of NBA.com ranks the Blazers No. 21 (up from No. 24).
Damian Lillard took one step closer to the Rookie of the Year award with Sunday's game-winner against Anthony Davis and the Hornets. But one shot shouldn't overshadow Nicolas Batum's incredible 5x5 performance (at least five in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks), the first the league has seen since Andrei Kirilenko's third career 5x5 on Jan. 3, 2006. Batum only needs five more 5x5s to catch Hakeem Olajuwon.
Matt Dollinger of SI.com ranks the Blazers No. 20 (up from 22). Note: this one was posted last Friday.
How important are LaMarcus Aldridge and Wes Matthews to the Blazers' offense? Portland's offensive rating skyrockets 16 points when the two of them are on the floor. This is largely a result of Portland's anemic bench, which continues to average the fewest points in the league, at 15.3. (The Lakers average the second fewest, at 23.5.) Rookie point guard Damian Lillard didn't need much help from any backups on Thursday as he had 29 points, seven rebounds and six assists in a victory against San Antonio.
Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk ranks the Blazers No. 20 (up from No. 21).
They continue to get nights of individual brilliance from guys - Nicolas Batum with the 5×5 on Sunday, some huge nights from Damian Lillard as he tries to lock up Rookie of the Year in December. Sometimes that translates to wins. Sometimes not.
Seth Rosenthal of SB Nation ranks the Blazers No. 17 (up from No. 23).
Hey now, Blazers! Three straight wins, with Damian Lillard's most brilliant performance of a brilliant rookie season-to-date coming in the middle victory over the Spurs and his exceedingly ballsy game-winner stifling a New Orleans comeback on Sunday. One cause for concern: Right when Nicolas Batum seemed to be recovering and the Blazers gaining some momentum, LaMarcus Aldridge went and rolled his ankle. As I write this, it's unclear how hurt Aldridge is.
John Hollinger of ESPN.com ranks the Blazers No. 22 (up from No. 25).
According to Hollinger's team states, the Blazers ranked...
- No. 14 (up from No. 15) in offensive efficiency
- No. 24 (up from No. 25) in defensive efficiency
- No. 22 (same as last week) in rebound rate
- No. 22 (down from No. 21) in pace
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