According to Fivethirtyeight.com the Portland Trail Blazers are now projected to finish below .500, at 40-42. The prediction comes after the Blazers suffered through a 4-game home losing streak. On the bright side, projections also indicate that Portland’s playoff chances have increased from 45 percent to 52 percent.
Fivethirtyeight.com updates their proprietary projection system regularly and keeps a historical record each week of what each NBA team’s record will be at the end of the year, along with projected point differential, chances of making the playoffs, reaching the Finals, and ultimately winning the title.
At this point in the season many were hoping that the Blazers would be above their 13-13 record considering their softer-than-average schedule and a big batch of home games to build some early momentum.
Even with the Memphis Grizzlies imploding and the Los Angeles Clippers turning into a MASH unit, the NBA Western Conference still looks like a dogfight for playoff spots. Both the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans are playing above expectations even after suffering through numerous injuries to stars and role players alike. Portland will have to contend with teams on their way up and down the ladder if they hope to make the 2018 NBA Playoffs bracket.