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Trail Blazers Draw Pair of Sevens in Power Rankings

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In the final power rankings of the 2017-18 regular season, two prominent media outlets have the team placed among the best in the NBA.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trail Blazers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers are in the midst of a three-game slide, following a rough Texas road trip. As the team seeks redemption tonight in the Mile High City, the national media is still sold on them as one of the best in the league. Both CBS Sports and ESPN have the team ranked seventh in their final power rankings of the NBA’s regular season.

ESPN dropped the Blazers two spots from last week, and Jose De Leon notes that if the team doesn’t stop the slide, they could make history:

Portland has lost three straight games with two remaining. According to Elias Sports Bureau research, if the Blazers lose their final two games, they would be the first team to end the season with a five-game losing streak and hold home-court advantage in the opening round.

CBS Sports also dropped the team two spots this week, but Chris Barnewell reminds us that they are still in good shape:

Portland has lost three in a row and allowed the Jazz back into the race for the No. 3 seed. Luckily, the Blazers control their own destiny. Win the final two games and they’ll have that seed locked up. Although this creates an interesting decision they might have to make. Would Portland prefer to set itself up for a potential second-round matchup against the Rockets, or the Warriors?

The Blazers (48-32) still have a chance to win 50 games for the first time since 2015, and close out the regular season this week against the Nuggets tonight in Denver and in Portland on Wednesday against the Jazz.