The Trail Blazers halted a two-game slide with a memorable victory over the Bulls to finish out last week’s action. Portland now owns a 10-8 record and is right in the middle of the NBA pack. With that in mind, here is a look at how the Blazers’ position in the newest power rankings shifted from last week.
ESPN’s latest rankings kept the Blazers at No. 11. Contributor Royce Young touched on Damian Lillard’s heroics in the segment devoted to Portland.
The unbelievable win on Saturday against the Bulls, with his pair of 3s in under nine seconds, was another chapter in the legend of Dame Time. But down multiple starters and key role players, it’s what Lillard has to do to steady the Blazers through rocky waters. He has led them in scoring over the past eight games (averaging 34.0 points during that stretch); and with four tilts remaining on a grueling, six-game trip, expect more of the same.
The updated rankings from CBS Sports featured the biggest backward slide for the Blazers. Portland dropped from No. 10 to No. 17 in the newest list. It is important to remember that the rankings from CBS Sports are based purely off of weekly outcomes (it doesn’t not factor in the entire season). CBS Sports contributor Colin Ward-Henninger touched on a trio of backcourt players in his analysis of the Blazers’ spot on the list.
Damian Lillard saved the Blazers from an 0-3 week with a cold-blooded fadeaway 3-pointer as time expired on Saturday to beat the Bulls. The losses to the Thunder and Rockets were each by three points, as Portland has done a decent job staying afloat with CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic sidelined. Lillard averaged 33.3 points and 9.3 assists for the week on 40 percent 3-point shooting, while both Gary Trent Jr. and Anfernee Simons have contributed meaningful minutes in McCollum’s place.
Bleacher Report’s Mo Dakhil moved the Blazers down two spots to No. 13 in his latest rankings. In his recap of Portland’s placement, Dakhil gave Enes Kanter a shoutout.
One player to highlight for the Blazers is Enes Kanter, who has stepped up in a big way since Jusuf Nurkic got hurt. He is averaging 12.8 points and 13.0 boards to help make up for that loss.
The Blazers start this week with back-to-back road games. Tonight, they face the Bucks.