The Portland Trail Blazers climbed slightly in the latest round of NBA Power Rankings after a 2-3 road trip (Through Monday, when most Power Rankings go live) that included wins over the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks and losses to the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Last week, the Blazers mostly ranged from 17-20. This week, they placed 16-18.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com ranks the Blazers No. 18 (up from No. 20).
The standing math says that the Blazers, no matter how many times we've written them off, still deserve to be lumped in as one of six teams alive for the West's final three playoff berths. Even after dropping 15 of their past 19 road games. So talk to us, Blazermaniacs. How do you see it?
John Schuhmann of NBA.com ranks the Blazers No. 17 (up from No. 20 last week).
As you might expect, the Blazers' five-game, seven-day road trip was a mixed bag. They lost to two teams that are under .500, beat two that are over .500, and got wiped out by the Thunder in the second half on Sunday. The other four starters each had big games (and off nights) along the way, but Nicolas Batum's right wrist injury continues to affect his shooting (39 percent over the last 10 games).
Matt Dollinger of SI.com ranks the Blazers No. 17 (same as last week). Note: this one was posted last Friday.
The stubborn Blazers refuse to go away, remaining on the outskirts of the West playoff race despite a brutal February. Portland trails the eighth-seeded Lakers by 3½ games but also has to pass the Jazz and Mavericks. The Blazers have the benefit of playing six of their last 10 games at home (where they are 22-11), but they also have to endure six more road games against playoff teams. That's a lot to overcome for a young team.
Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk.com ranks the Blazers No. 18 (up from No. 19 last week).
They are three games back of the Lakers for the last playoff spot in the West. They have to make that up and leapfrog two teams, hard to see that happening with the .500 ball they have played of late.
Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports ranks the Blazers No. 18 (same as last week).
Portland (2 ½ games back) has an outside chance of landing the last West playoff spot if it can overcome a tough remaining regular-season schedule that includes nine of 12 games against winning teams.
Matt Moore of CBSSports.com ranks the Blazers No. 17 (same as last week).
They're in playoff purgatory: neither alive nor dead.
John Hollinger (formerly) of ESPN.com ranks the Blazers No. 16 (up from No. 18 last week).
According to Hollinger's team stats, the Blazers ranked...
- No. 12 (down from No. 10 last week) in offensive efficiency
- No. 24 (same as last week) in defensive efficiency
- No. 16 (same as last week) in rebound rate
- No. 19 (same as last week) in pace
Hollinger's Playoff odds: 6.2 percent (up from 2.2 percent)
Basketball-Reference.com Playoff Forecast: 3.0 percent (up from 0.6 percent)
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter