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Blazers Steady In Power Rankings

An up-and-down performance keeps the Blazers in the same place.

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NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Portland Trail Blazers Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

After enjoying some brief success during the month of January, the Portland Trail Blazers are on another losing skid. The team ended the month by dropping four of their last five games, including a 98-81 dud against the Oklahoma City Thunder last night. Despite the difficult week, in The Athletic’s weekly NBA Power Rankings, writer Zach Harper didn’t move the Blazers up or down.

Portland sits in the tenth spot of the Western Conference standings with a 21-29 record. For the second consecutive week, Harper placed Portland in the No. 21 spot of his league-wide rankings. Out of six possible tiers on Harper’s list, this placed Portland in the “Play-In Tournament Gives Them Life” tier.

Along with ranking each team’s place in the league hierarchy, Harper weighed in on which players from each team should be given All-Star consideration. In regards to the Portland Trail Blazers, Harper answered with an affirmative “Nobody.”

Harper said six-time All-Star Damian Lillard doesn’t have a legitimate argument to receive an All-Star invite this season and nobody else on the roster does either.

Any All-Star fringes? I’m going to say no on this one too. Lillard is currently hurt and has missed a ton of time this season, and his season has been confusingly subpar by his standards. He’s scoring his lowest average in seven seasons. He posted the lowest field goal and 3-point percentages of his career. It’s the lowest true shooting percentage other than his rookie campaign. The only reason he’d be selected by the coaches this season is because of what they know he can be. Nobody else on this roster is close either.

If no Blazer is named as an All-Star reserve this season, which all signs are indicating, this will be the first time the event won’t feature a Portland player since the 2015-2016 season.

As far as other events at All-Star weekend, Harper said Anfernee Simons could get an encore at the Dunk Contest, but struggled to come up with other names.

Any other weekend participants? Anfernee Simons is the defending dunk champ, so maybe he’ll get thrown back into the mix. I guess Larry Nance Jr. or Dennis Smith Jr. could always be called upon to participate in the dunk contest. Maybe CJ McCollum would want to do the skills challenge? That’s about it.