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CBS Sports Ranks Trail Blazers Mediocre Among Playoff Teams

A third-quarter report on the NBA Western Conference with playoff predictions isn't that flattering to the Blazers.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

CBS Sports has issued an article predicting who the eight teams Western Conference playoff teams will be and rating them using a one to five star system.  The rating, they say, is based on each team's performance at what they call the three-quarters mark of the season.

The madness of the Western Conference in the 2014-15 season is almost over. With one more quarter to go, we think we might have a good idea of who the eight teams in the playoffs will be, except Kevin Durant just went down with another foot issue. The Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans are still looking to pounce. As for the rest of the playoff picture, the West is as confusing as it's ever been. You could have eight teams in there with legitimate claims to a run to the NBA Finals.

They give five stars to the Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Golden State Warriors.  Four-star teams are the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Clippers.  The Portland Trail Blazers are in the three-star category along with eight other teams.  This is what they have to say about Portland:

Portland Trail Blazers (37-19):NBA 3-star review The Blazers should be fine. They're likely to have home-court advantage in the playoffs. We should be constantly praising Terry Stotts for what he's done with the defense. Adding Arron Afflalo could turn out to be huge, and you have to consider this team a championship contender. Overall, though, Portland's had a rough last six weeks full of disappointing defeats. Can't give this group more than three stars for that stretch.

They also have a third-quarter review for the Eastern Conference with the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers the only five-star teams.  Of the five-star teams in the Western Conference they suggest that Golden State is the cream of the crop, not only in the west, in the entire NBA.