The Portland Trail Blazers dropped in the latest round of NBA Power Rankings after a 1-2 week (Through Monday, when most Power Rankings go live) that included losses to the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers and a win over the Boston Celtics.
Last week, the Blazers mostly ranked in the 19-21 range. This week, they mostly ranged from 19-24.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com ranks the Blazers No. 19 (up from No.20).
If the Blazers hadn't beaten Boston on Sunday night, they'd be mired in their first eight-game skid since April 2006. The willingness to trade J.J. Hickson at the deadline, mind you, made it clear that securing another lottery pick is their unspoken preference anyway, even after that Cinderella first half.
John Schuhmann of NBA.com ranks the Blazers No. 22 (down from No. 21).
The Blazers ended their seven-game losing streak (they actually lost to the Suns on Tuesday) against the Celtics on Sunday with a big game (24 points on 8-for-11 from the field) and a big shot from Wesley Matthews, who is 16-for-30 from 3-point range over his last five games and 11-for-24 from beyond the arc in clutch time this season. Portland is 8-2 when Matthews has scored more than 20 points.
Matt Dollinger of SI.com ranks the Blazers No. 19 (same as last week). Note: this one was posted last Friday.
Eric Maynor has played only 10.6 minutes per game for Oklahoma City this year, but he'll be a pivotal player in Portland, which gets a backup for Damian Lillard and some offensive punch for a punchless bench. No one on the Blazers' bench averages more than 4.1 points, leaving plenty of opportunities for the incoming fourth-year guard to make an impact. While Maynor missed nearly all of last season with an ACL tear and struggled to re-establish himself this season in Oklahoma City, he averaged 10.4 points and 7.1 assists per 36 minutes when he played all 82 games in 2010-11. GM Neil Olshey said Maynor would play alongside Lillard at times, too.
Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk.com ranks the Blazers No. 24 (down from No. 17 two weeks ago).
Lost seven in a row (before Wesley Mathews got them a win over the Celtics Sunday) and with the Lakers and Mavericks surging it's hard to see this team coming back and make the playoffs.
Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports ranks the Blazers No. 19 (down from No. 18 last week).
New point guard Eric Maynor is a solid backup for rookie Damian Lillard and offers the Blazers security because he will be a restricted free agent this summer.
Matt Moore of CBSSports.com ranks the Blazers No. 20 (down from No. 19 last week).
Trying really hard to fight their way through their roster makeup. Still able to rattle teams like Boston at home.
David Aldridge of NBA.com did not include the Blazers in his "fine 15" this week.
Seth Rosenthal of SB Nation ranks the Blazers No. 17 (up from No. 18 last week).
That narrow win over the Celtics was big after Portland lost some ground in the West with losses to the rival Lakers and not-at-all-rival-you-really-shouldn't-be-losing-to-them-when-you're-battling-for-a-playoff-spot Suns.
John Hollinger (formerly) of ESPN.com ranks the Blazers No. 24 (same as last week).
According to Hollinger's team stats, the Blazers ranked...
- No. 16 (same as last week) in offensive efficiency
- No. 25 (same as last week) in defensive efficiency
- No. 16 (up from No. 17 last week) in rebound rate
- No. 19 (same as last week) in pace
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter