The Portland Trail Blazers remained steady again in the latest round of NBA Power Rankings after a 2-1 week (Through Monday, when most Power Rankings go live), that included wins against the Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz and a loss to the Jazz.
Last week, the Blazers mostly ranked in the 16-17 range. This week, that's exactly where they stand again.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com ranks the Blazers No. 16 (same as last week).
The Blazers don't play another home game until after the All-Star break. Daunting as that sounds, only two of the six foes on this upcoming trip -- which will be capped by a Damian Lillard vs. Anthony Davis duel in New Orleans on Feb. 13 -- have a winning record: Houston and Miami.
John Schuhmann of NBA.com ranks the Blazers No. 18 (down from No. 17).
The re-signing of J.J. Hickson (for one year) certainly seemed like a placeholder move for a team in transition that drafted a center in the Lottery. But the Blazers are a playoff contender in part because Hickson is playing the best basketball of his career, averaging a double-double and shooting 56 percent. Hickson totaled 47 points and 26 boards in the Blazers' two wins last week.
Matt Dollinger of SI.com ranks the Blazers No. 16 (same as last week). Note: this one was posted last Friday.
The Blazers are as resilient as they come, compiling 10 wins this season when trailing at halftime, tied for the most in the league. The most recent example was a game Portland had no business winning, trailing by as many as 21 to the Mavericks before rallying to beat them thanks to LaMarcus Aldridge at the buzzer. The Blazers, trailing the No. 8 Rockets by a half-game in the West, will have to scrap their way to more wins like that to stay in the playoff picture.
Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk ranks the Blazers No. 16 (same as last week).
They are just a game out of the playoffs in the West but with a key seven of their next eight are on the road - the Blazers can't fall back now, especially with the Lakers seeming to make a charge from below.
Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports ranks the Blazers No. 16 (same as last week).
Rookies and second-year players will be selected Thursday by coaches Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal for the Rising Stars Challenge. After the Cavs' Kyrie Irving, will Damian Lillard be taken second?
Matt Moore of CBSSports.com ranks the Blazers No. 17 (down from No. 16).
At this point when they win games they shouldn't, I just shrug. Why not?
David Aldridge of NBA.com did not include the Blazers in his "Fine 15".
Seth Rosenthal of SB Nation ranks the Blazers No. 15 (up from No. 16).
Portland kicked off a big but relatively manageable road trip by barely surviving a comeback from the Wolves. They'll head into the All-Star break with five more away games, but the stops are nicely spaced out and reach only two teams above .500 (Houston and Miami).
John Hollinger (formerly) of ESPN.com ranks the Blazers No. 19 (up from No. 20).
According to Hollinger's team stats, the Blazers ranked...
- No. 13 (up from No. 14 last week) in offensive efficiency
- No. 21 (same as last week) in defensive efficiency
- No. 16 (same as last week) in rebound rate
- No. 17 (up from No. 18 last week) in pace
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter