Trail Mix: Blazers Slip in Power Rankings, Crabbe “glad” he went to Idaho
Last week the Blazers endured a tough 1-3 week and have gone 1-5 in their last six games. Predictably, they’ve dropped in the latest Power Rankings.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com bumps the Blazers down two spots from 12th to 14th:
The Blazers, after Sunday’s blown-lead crusher at home against Golden State, undeniably have the look of a team more likely to finish sixth in the West than they are to move back up into the top four. They’re 12-15 since that 31-9 start and have slipped from first to fourth in offensive efficiency.
David Aldridge slid them down from 8th to 9th over at NBA.com:
Blazers’ slide has left them just 1 ½ games ahead of the Warriors for No. 5 in the West. You don’t want to be sixth in the West. Sixth means playing the Clippers, who are third in the conference. If L.A. keeps winning, it could mean Oklahoma City slides down to No. 3. You don’t want that, either.
Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports kept Portland in 8th place:
The Blazers desperately need LaMarcus Aldridge back. The All-Star has missed the past two games with a lower back contusion.
John Schuhmann of NBA.com moved Portland down two spots from 11th to 13th:
Pace: 97.9 (10), OffRtg: 108.4 (4), DefRtg: 104.9 (20), NetRtg: +3.5 (9)
We can confirm now that the Blazers’ initial post-break defensive improvement was schedule-aided. After a rough trip and a heartbreaker against the Warriors on Sunday, they’re 0-6 against fellow West playoff teams since the All-Star break, having allowed 111.2 points per 100 possessions in the six games. They’re back on the road this week, but play just four more games against the West’s top nine.
This week: vs. MIL, vs. WAS, @ CHA
USA Today’s panel actually moved the Blazers up after their 1-3 week.
Filling in for injured LaMarcus Aldridge while still gunning for the No. 4 seed in the West.
Their biggest drop in Power Rankings comes courtesy of Matt Moore over at CBSSports.com. Moore dropped the Blazers from 9th last week to a whopping 16th.
They’re starting to resemble Apollo 13, and they don’t have the fuel to get home.
Moore puts the Blazers just behind Oklahoma City, the Charlotte Bobcats and the Eastern Conference leading Indiana Pacers (seriously).
Matt Dollinger of SI.com moved the Blazers from 9th to 11th:
The Blazers, who are 19-19 since a 24-5 start, have lost five of their last six. The absence of LaMarcus Aldridge, who missed the past two games with a bruised back, is obviously partially to blame, but Portland’s recent woes go a lot deeper than just injuries. The revamped bench has regressed; Wesley Matthews is mired in an ugly shooting slump; and the Blazers are simply being outclassed by their Western rivals, losing to the Warriors, Spurs, Grizzlies, Rockets and Mavericks in a 10-day span.
Allen Crabbe came back from Idaho on Sunday and said he was glad to have had the experience to be able to play extended minutes again.
“I was given a chance to play,” he said. “I haven’t played all year and getting down there for three games and get some run in, it was pretty good. Most guys probably would be upset about it, going to the D-League. But I went down there and had a good experience. And I think people should use the D-League as an opportunity to continue to work on your game. I’m glad I went down there.”
Crabbe said he was happy with his performance in two of his three games as he got in foul trouble in the third of the three.
He also said that he is playing with a little more confidence after playing more. However, the only real confidence can come from experience in games.
“I feel like I’ll get more confidence once I get in the game more,” he said. “Because, I mean, practice is different. You’re playing against your teammates and you’re not going to get the same actions against other teams. So I just want to get out there on the floor. That’s how I’ll get my confidence and experience up at the NBA level also.”
Playing time has been hard for Crabbe to come by this season but he said he hopes that he’s “one day” trusted to go out and “get some production.”
The Blazers sent out a press released announcing that they have now added a healthy food option at the Moda Center. They are calling the restaurant “Plum Tasty” after the primary color of Moda Health’s logo.
From the team release:
“Plum Tasty”, named after the primary color from Moda Health’s color palette, will be located outside entry A9 on the Moda Center’s 100-level concourse. Inspired by Moda Health Plan President Dr. William Johnson, the menu at Plum Tasty will offer a variety of “grab-and-go” options that meet specific nutritional guidelines. The cart will also feature specialty gluten-free and dairy-free items.
Registered Dietitian and Moda’s Health Coach Chrissy Cralen worked with Levy Restaurants to establish guidelines for the Plum Tasty menu. Each menu item has met the following criteria: minimally processed whole food ingredients rich in nutrients; less than 35% calories from fat, with a focus on healthy fats; less than 600 mg of sodium; limited refined carbohydrates.
“As a health care company, we are intently aware of the importance on healthy living – which begins with a balanced diet,” said Dr. Johnson. “Our partnership with the Trail Blazers is much more than our name on the side of the arena. We truly want to use this platform to help people achieve their health and wellness goals.”
This is already in addition to the local fare that they’ve added as concession options for this season.