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Portland Stands Pat in Power Rankings

A 2-1 stretch helped the Blazers hold ground after a recent slide, as reflected in this week’s Power Rankings roundup.

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers were able to get back on track last week, scoring wins over the Suns and Timberwolves after a close loss to the Mavericks. While the turnaround may not have turned many heads nationally, it was enough for the team to hold ground in this week’s Power Rankings roundup, as chosen by various national pundits.

Sports Illustrated kept the squad at 12th, and Khadrice Rollins was impressed with the clutch performance from both Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in the team’s win over the red-hot Wolves:

Portland had lost six of seven before picking up consecutive wins to close out this week. The bulk of those loses were on the road, but the Trail Blazers were only 1-2 at home during that stretch, with all three games going down to the wire. Getting wins against the Suns and Timberwolves could be the perfect jolt before this upcoming back-to-back in Houston and Memphis. Especially with the way Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum closed out Saturday’s victory over Minnesota.

The Blazers also retained the 12th spot in ESPN’s hierarchy. Marc J. Spears wonders if the team could use some help:

Should the Blazers consider Carmelo Anthony? The 10-time All-Star had previously turned down overtures from the Blazers twice, but Portland could also be aided by adding a third proven scorer. Over the past 10 games, the team ranks 17th in offensive rating.

CBS Sports slotted the team tenth, the same position as a week ago. Reid Forgrave points out an interesting stat about Seth Curry:

After a rough 1-6 stretch, the Blazers had a get-right win over the awful Phoenix Suns followed by Saturday’s clutch crunch-time win over the Timberwolves. One of the most perplexing defensive stats of this NBA season: The Blazers’ Seth Curry is the current NBA leader in defensive rating, and has the top defensive field goal percentage in the NBA. Think that might regress?

It’s tough sledding for the Blazers (15-11) this week, as they head south for back-to-back tilts against the Rockets and Grizzlies on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, before returning home for a match-up with the first-place Raptors on Friday.