The Portland Trail Blazers dropped four home games and slid out of the No. 6 spot in the Western Conference standings over the past week. The result: a considerable downward move in the latest round of power rankings.
ESPN’s latest rankings placed the Blazers at No. 12, down two spots from last week. Contributor Royce Young detailed Portland’s new position inside the play-in field.
The Blazers have lost five straight and eight of 10. They’ve slipped into the play-in spot, now two games behind the Mavericks in the loss column. Diagnosing the Blazers is complicated, but Damian Lillard summarized it this way after Sunday’s loss to Memphis: “I’m not playing well enough. I’m on the floor because that gives our team the best chance to win, and I’ve got to be better.”
The Score moved the Blazers down from No. 11 to No. 13. Inside the analysis of Portland’s new position, The Score’s staff pointed out the tough road ahead for coach Terry Stotts’ squad.
Opposing defenses have excelled at limiting Damian Lillard’s powers amid a 3-9 slide that’s put a top-six spot in peril. Only three of the Blazers’ last 12 contests come against sub-.500 sides.
Bleacher Report’s Mo Dakhil moved the Blazers down to No. 16. Dakhil pointed to Portland’s poor defense and slim margin for error.
Portland is struggling right now. The team has lost five in a row, three of which were by a combined four points. With how bad their defense is, the Blazers’ margin of error is razor-thin. They cannot survive when they are shooting 35.3 percent from three as a team like Portland did in the last week.
Starting Tuesday, the Blazers will begin a six-game road trip that will wrap up next Wednesday.