The Portland Trail Blazers are 23-5 on the season after a 2-1 week that included wins over the Cleveland Cavaliers and the New Orleans Pelicans, and a loss to the MInnesota Timberwolves.
Here's how the Blazers stack up in the various NBA power rankings following week eight of the 2013-14 season. Last week, the Blazers ranked from No. 1 to No. 4. This week, Portland placed from No. 1 to No. 5, slipping slightly on a few of the lists.
No. 2 (Last week: 2): Marc Stein, ESPN.com
Clippers at home Thursday night. Heat at home Saturday night. OKC away on New Year's Eve. If any Blazermaniacs out there are peeved about being excluded from Christmas Day festivities, what's left on the schedule for the rest of 2013 will take care of the national attention they crave.
No. 1 (Last week: 2): Marc Spears, Yahoo! Sports
Point guard Damian Lillard is averaging 23.8 points and 5.9 assists in December. Too bad the Blazers aren't playing on Christmas.
No. 2 (Last week: 1): Matt Dollinger, SI.com
We decided to return the favor this year and offer up Christmas presents to all 30 teams. Rather than ask what each team wanted, we decided to make some educated guesses, some more far-fetched than others.
Five golden rings. We couldn't leave any of Portland's starters out, who are the only five-man group to have started every game this season. We won't speculate whether they'll be receiving any other rings this year, but this group deserves something shiny for powering the Blazers' sensational start.
No. 5 (Last week: 2): Matt Moore, CBSSports.com
In the past week they've won by two, won by three, lost by eleven, won by three. Look, they're still really great, but style points matter here.
No. 1 (Last week: 1): Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk
If the NBA had flex scheduling for Christmas, you can bet the Blazers would have made the cut. Only two games for Portland this week but they are tests: the Los Angeles Clippers and the Miami Heat. The good news is they catch both teams at home on the second night of a back-to-back.
No. 2 (Last week: 1): John Schuhmann, NBA.com
Damian Lillard is unreal. He followed up his game-winner in Detroit with a better one in Cleveland. Then he hit this ridiculous shot to put the Blazers ahead for good in Saturday's win over the Pelicans. He shot 19-for-36 from 3-point range last week and has been the best pull-up jump-shooter in the league this season. You just wonder when the Blazers are going to pay for their bottom-10 defense.
No. 3 (Last week: 3): David Aldridge, NBA.com
Coffee is for Damian.
No. 4 (Last week: 3): Jason Patt, SB Nation
Damian Lillard has been doing some really cool things this year. After knocking down a game-winner two Sundays ago, the second-year man did it again in the Blazers' next game.
No. 3 (Last week: 2): USA Today Sports
Damian Lillard got tired of LaMarcus Aldridge hogging the spotlight, so he started hitting game-winners.
No. 5 (Last week: 4): Hollinger Power Rankings
- Offensive Efficiency: No. 1 (Last week: No. 1)
- Defensive Efficiency: No. 22 (Last week: No. 19)
- Rebound Rate: No. 5 (Last week: No. 5)
- Pace: No. 13 (Last week: No. 14)
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter