Another week, another rise in the collective NBA Power Rankings for the Portland Trail Blazers. After closing out their home-stand with double-digit wins against the Bucks and Clippers, and a gut-check victory over the Celtics, Rip City is riding high.
ESPN has the team ranked fourth in the association, up from seventh a week ago. Marc J. Spears is keeping his eyes on the upcoming road trip:
The Blazers have won four straight after a big win over Boston on Sunday and joined Golden State as the only Western Conference teams with double-digit wins. Portland will next be embarking on an odd six-game trek that includes stops at the Lakers, Wolves, Wizards, Knicks, Bucks and Warriors. Portland doesn’t have another home game until Nov. 25 against the Clippers.
CBS Sports has the team pegged in the fifth spot, up from seventh last week. Reid Forgrave likes what he sees from Zach Collins:
Zach Collins’ emergence during his sophomore season has been a pleasant surprise for the Blazers. Head coach Terry Stotts has been playing Collins 21.5 minutes per game, up from 15.8 minutes per game last season.
Sports Illustrated also has the Blazers ranked fifth, up one spot from last week. Khadrice Rollins is impressed with CJ McCollum, particularly his 40-point outing against the Bucks:
McCollum going off like he did Tuesday is vital for Portland. Both to sustain the Trail Blazers through the regular season and to propel them deeper into the postseason. Sometimes C.J.’s just going to need to give Damian Lillard a night off. Sometimes both of them will have to go berserk in order to get a W. Either way, it means we need C.J. making a fool of more and more defenders.
The Blazers (10-3) begin their six-game roadie Wednesday night in Tinsel Town against LeBron James and the Lakers, before trips to Minneapolis and D.C. to close out the week.