Last Monday’s win against the New York Knicks notwithstanding, it was a pretty dreadful week for the Portland Trail Blazers. Home losses to the Bucks and Pelicans (without Anthony Davis) caused the team to not only take a dip in the Western Conference standings, but to also lose ground in the national media’s weekly NBA Power Rankings.
ESPN dropped Portland from 8th to 11th, but Law Murray remains impressed with the team’s defense:
Even after getting touched up by Boogie Cousins for 38 points Saturday night, the Blazers rank fourth in defensive efficiency, and no team allows a lower field goal percentage in the restricted area (54.1 percent).
CBS Sports dropped them from 7th to 9th, with Chris Barnewall focusing on the team’s eroding offensive output:
It's really weird to see Portland have such a great defense and a terrible offense. They have an Effective Field Goal Percentage of 49.2 percent, which is laughably low for a team that in previous years was so strong.
Sports Illustrated, meanwhile, actually bumped the Blazers up a spot, from 11th to 10th. Why? The sudden reemergence of Meyers Leonard, according to Kenny Ducey:
Let’s take you back to Oct. 23’s NBA Power Rankings:
Portland currently ranks in the top three in net rating, but they’ve beaten up on the Pacers and Suns to get there. They certainly impressed against the Bucks, but I’m not quite sure they’re on that level yet. Side note: Is Meyers Leonard not a thing anymore? Two straight games with a DNP-CD. We need to get him back in the lineup for his annual battle with DeMarcus Cousins.
Well, guess what. Good ol’ Meyers got back in there after a brief hiatus and not a moment too soon. He went to WORK against his rival.