Another week, another set of power rankings with the Golden State Warriors unanimously on top. Let's see how our Portland Trail Blazers fared after their 2-1 performance.
Portland gained in three of our seven rankings, lost in three, and remained the same in one. They moved back into the top 5 according to Yahoo and remained at number 5 in the USA Today ranking.
The San Antonio Spurs were the big gainers this week, moving up in all seven rankings and all the way into the top 5 according to ESPN and SI. The Toronto Raptors were the biggest losers with USA Today moving them from 3rd to 10th.
Drew Garrison of SB Nation: 1) Golden State, 2) Atlanta, 3) Memphis, 4) Houston, & 5) Cleveland.
9. Portland Trail Blazers (41-20, Last week: 6)
Portland was barely hanging on to its top-five status anyway, but Wesley Matthews devastating Achilles injury changes everything. Matthews has been phenomenal at spacing the floor for Portland over his five seasons with the Trail Blazers and the continuity of the roster was a big selling point for this team. That Arron Afflalo trade just became even more vital.
Matt Dollinger of Sports Illustrated: 1) Golden State, 2) Atlanta, 3) Cleveland, 4) San Antonio, & 5) Oklahoma City.
8 PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS LAST WEEK: 6 RECORD: 41-20 (2-1)
Arron Afflalo looks even better in the wake of Wes Matthews' season-ending injury, but Portland was hoping for Afflalo to provide much-needed help off the bench, not serve as a stop gap in the starting lineup. Portland knows it has a competent replacement for Matthews, the question is whether someone on its bench (C.J. McCollum or Alonzo Gee?) can fill in for Afflalo.
Matt Moore of CBSSports: 1) Golden State, 2)Atlanta, 3) Houston, 4) Cleveland, & 5) Memphis.
7 Portland Trail Blazers Last Week 10 The Wes Matthews injury is very much in line with the history of the Blazers, but they still have the talent and formula to make a run. Don't count them out yet.
John Schuhmann of nba.com: 1) Golden State, 2) Atlanta, 3) Cleveland, 4) Memphis, & 5) Houston.
6 Last week: 7 Portland (41-20) Pace: 96.6 (13) OffRtg: 104.7 (10) DefRtg: 99.7 (6) NetRtg: +5.0 (4)
It's great that the Blazers have Arron Afflalo to replace Wesley Matthews, but Matthews' season-ending Achilles injury is still a brutal blow to a team that was playing its best basketball of the season. It came at the end of a five-game winning streak in which Portland beat four fellow West playoff teams and outscored its opponents by 12.1 points per 100 possessions. This week: vs. HOU, vs. DET, @ TOR
Mark Stein of ESPN: 1) Golden State, 2) Atlanta, 3) Memphis, 4) San Antonio, & 5) Houston.
9 Portland 41-20 Last Week: 7 In our search for something -- anything -- to hearten Blazermaniacs in the wake of the depressing Wes Matthews news, this is all we could muster: As of Saturday, Portland was fourth in the NBA against current playoff teams at 19-14 ... trailing only Atlanta (26-8), Golden State (22-8) and Memphis (19-11).
Mark Spears of Yahoo.com: 1) Golden State, 2) Atlanta, 3) Houston, 4) Cleveland, & 5) Portland.
5. Portland Trail Blazers (Record: 41-20; last week: 6): After Wesley Matthews' season-ending injury, Portland is fortunate to have an experienced replacement in Arron Afflalo.
Adi Joseph of USA Today: 1) Golden State, 2) Atlanta, 3) Memphis, 4) Houston, & 5) Portland.
5 Portland Trail Blazers 41-20 Arron Afflalo goes from top-tier sixth man to ideal replacement starter with Wesley Matthews out.