The Portland Trail Blazers are 3-4 to start their season, and that’s definitely a step in the right direction after starting 0-3.
Let’s take a look at how power rankings across the internet have the Blazers ranked:
Colin Ward-Henniger, CBS Sports: No. 21 (previously No. 30)
Raise your hand if you saw the Blazers putting up a 3-1 week with Anfernee Simons out of the lineup and Scoot Henderson missing two of the games. Portland took down the Raptors, Pistons and Grizzlies to start the week before finally losing to Memphis in the rematch on Sunday. The defense was surprisingly stout, allowing just 103 points per 100 possessions, but that could be significantly compromised with Robert Williams III expected to miss extended time with a knee injury.
John Schuhmann, NBA.com: No. 25 (previously No. 30)
The Blazers were less than eight minutes from a four-game winning streak (which would have matched their longest from either of the last two seasons), but amazingly missed their last 14 shots (while committing four turnovers) and allowed the Grizzlies to come back from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit on Sunday. It’s still a pleasant surprise to see a ‘3’ in the win column for a team that looked pretty bad in Week 1 while losing a starter in the process.
Brett Siegel, ClutchPoints: No. 26 (previously No. 30)
Chauncey Billups has done a solid job so far with the group he has been given, especially since the Portland Trail Blazers have a lot of new faces on their roster and continue to push through Anfernee Simons being out due to thumb surgery. Rookie Scoot Henderson is also sidelined right now after suffering an ankle sprain recently. Portland is going to be as good as their veterans allow them to be.
Malcolm Brogdon, Jerami Grant, Deandre Ayton, and Robert Williams III are the only proven factors on this roster, but Shaedon Sharpe continues to take advantage of his minutes expanding due to players being injured. This is not a great team, but the Blazers have shown that they can pull off victories against stronger, higher-ranked opponents.