Blazer Banter

NBA Power Rankings: Blazers hold steady ahead of All-Star break

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Here’s how the Trail Blazers stack up in the Power Rankings from across the internet as the league heads into the All-Star break.

ESPN.com’s Marc Stein: 6 (last week: 5)

The Blazers haven’t finished the season as the league’s No. 1 offense since the committee’s senior year of high school in 1986-87 … led by Kiki Vandeweghe and Clyde Drexler. A 5-6 record in the past 11 games doesn’t seem quite as significant as the fact that the Blazers nearly swept Indiana.

NBA.com’s David Aldridge: 4 (LW: 3)

Bench issues creeping up again after reserves’ production drops significantly.

NBA.com’s John Schuhmann: 8 (LW: 10)

Portland (36-15)
Pace: 97.9 (8), OffRtg: 108.9 (2), DefRtg: 105.3 (22), NetRtg: +3.6 (9)
Before breaking out against the undermanned Wolves on Saturday, the Blazers were going through, by far, their worst offensive stretch of the season. It was inevitable given their reliance on jump shots and you would hope it would get them to buckle down defensively. But Wednesday’s win in New York was really the only game in which they’ve been able to put together two halves of strong D.
This week: vs. OKC, @ LAC

Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears: 6 (LW: 3)

Prior to taking part in five All-Star events, first-time All-Star Damian Lillard has to face the Thunder on Tuesday and the Clippers on Wednesday.

CBSSports.com’s Matt Moore: 10 (LW: 9)

Damian Lillard will be inescapable for All-Star Weekend, which isn’t a bad thing at all.

SI.com’s Matt Dollinger: 7 (LW: 7)

A Heat-Thunder series would likely win the popular vote for most-desired Finals matchup. But Pacers-Blazers shouldn’t be far behind after the teams split two of this season’s best games.

SBNation.com’s Jason Patt: 6 (LW: 6)

Since moving a season-high 22 games over .500 a few weeks ago, the Blazers have gone just 5-6. A big reason is a really tough schedule, but the struggles may not bode well for the postseason. Or perhaps it’s just a lull.

USA Today: 6 (LW: 5)

Damian Lillard has never missed a game for them. Why skip an All-Star contest?

 

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He started writing about NBA Basketball for SwishScout.com before being the Sports Reporter Intern for TrailBlazers.com. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

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