The Portland Trail Blazers’ season to this point has been the typical up-and-down campaign that’s become the norm in recent years. With the Blazers (26-19) currently No. 5 in the Western Conference, Dan Favale of Bleacher Report gave Portland a “B” at the midway point of the season:
Their losing record against Western Conference teams is an eyebrow-raiser, but they’ve put up good fights against the Warriors, Rockets and Thunder in recent weeks. There might be a rivalry brewing between them and the Kings.
Portland is 15th in points allowed per 100 possessions. That’s not great. But the defense has a shot profile of a better team. The Blazers limit looks at the rim and short mid-rangers. They’ve taken hits from outside, but they do a nice job chasing shooters off the line.
Favale also highlights the bench’s falloff and the team’s need for a wing. But behind standout performances by Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic, Portland looks like a solid playoff spot contender:
Pretty much everyone in the West is a fringe playoff team. For all its warts, Portland is tilting closer toward a lock.
You can read more from Favale’s report card here, and let us know in the comments what grade you would give the Blazers’ season to this point.