Only Drew Garrison of SB Nation sees the Trail Blazers as a top-five team now. They remain in the top 10 on four other rankings and drop out of the top 10 to number eleven on two rankings. The Atlanta Hawks are now number one on all seven rankings.
Drew Garrison of SB Nation: 1) Atlanta, 2) Golden State, 3) Memphis, 4) Portland, & 5) Los Angeles.
4. Portland Trail Blazers (32-16, Last week: 4
The Trail Blazers are on a three-game losing streak, but they caught Kyrie Irving on a career night and the top team in the Hawks and gave them both a run for their money. The deflating end-of-the-week loss to the Milwaukee Bucks hurt, but LaMarcus Aldridge played out of his mind to keep the Blazers in the mix up top.
Matt Dollinger of Sports Illustrated: 1) Atlanta, 2) Golden State, 3) Memphis, 4) Houston, & 5) San Antonio.
9 PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
LAST WEEK: 6
RECORD: 32-16 (0-3)
Portland's first three-game losing streak of the season came at the hands of Eastern Conference foes, who had their way with the banged-up Blazers. LaMarcus Aldridge is fighting admirably, but Damian Lillard's shooting has been snubbing Portland. Lillard has shot under 40 percent from the field in each of his last eight games. He hit just 24.1 percent of shots last week.
John Schuhmann of nba.com: 1) Atlanta, 2) Golden State, 3) Memphis, 4) Los Angeles, & 5) Houston.
11. Portland (32-16) Last Week: 7
Pace: 96.7 (11) OffRtg: 104.5 (11) DefRtg: 99.7 (5) NetRtg: +4.8 (6)
If you believe that Damian Lillard deserved a trip to New York over one of the Thunder's two All-Stars, you could simply point out that he's played almost as many minutes (for a much better team) than the two of them combined. But maybe those minutes have taken their toll. Lillard has shot 33 percent as the Blazers have lost eight of their last 10 games.
This week: vs. UTA, vs. PHX, @ DAL, @ HOU
Mark Stein of ESPN: 1) Atlanta, 2) Golden State, 3) Memphis, 4) Los Angeles, & 5) San Antonio.
10 Portland 32-16 Last Week: 7
Despite LaMarcus Aldridge's playing-hurt heroics, Portland has gone 2-8 since its 30-8 start and has tumbled to 11th in offensive efficiency. Imagine where the Blazers would be if they didn't have a league-leading 14 wins this season when trailing at some stage in the fourth quarter.
Mark Spears of Yahoo.com: 1) Atlanta, 2) Golden State, 3) Memphis, 4) Los Angeles, & 5) Houston.
9. Portland Trail Blazers (Record: 32-16; last week: 6): Since not making the All-Star team, Damian Lillard has missed 27-of-39 shots the past two games, including 17-of-19 3-pointers.
Adi Joseph of USA Today: 1) Atlanta, 2) Golden State, 3) Memphis, 4) Los Angeles, & 5) Toronto.
7. Portland Trail Blazers 32-16 Last Week: 4 Damian Lillard could have helped his All-Star case by not shooting 28.1% on threes in January.
Matt Moore of CBSsports: 1) Atlanta, 2) Memphis, 3) Golden State, 4) Cleveland, & 5) Los Angeles.
9. Last Week: 7 Damian Lillard was the only All-Star snub that got under my skin a bit, but he's also not carrying them much right now. The Blazers have lost 8 of 10, and have dropped games to some Eastern contenders. They're in most of their games, but can't seem to find a gear to get over the hump.