Blazers Move Up In Final Regular Season Power Rankings
Last night’s Blazers-Warriors game may have been the game of the year in the NBA and as the Blazers survived, going 3-0 on the week, they were rewarded by the power rankers.
ESPN.com’s Marc Stein moved Portland up five spots from 12 to 7 in his final rankings:
Going 8-1 since getting LaMarcus Aldridge back is forcing Houston to work to clinch the No. 4 seed. I also suspect the Blazers — who haven’t won a playoff series, believe it or not, since 1999-2000 — want the Rockets in Round 1 as much as the Rockets want them. Given the alternatives.
NBA.com’s David Aldridge brought back his power rankings, putting the Blazers in 8th:
Back on the defensive grind since Cousin LaMarcus returned from injury.
Aldridge’s colleague John Schuhmann moved Portland up three spots in his rankings to number 6:
Pace: 97.5 (10), OffRtg: 108.2 (6), DefRtg: 104.7 (18), NetRtg: +3.5 (9)
The Blazers scored at least 110 points in three of their four meetings with the Rockets, but won only one of them, because their defense isn’t very good. They are 8-1 since LaMarcus Aldridge’s return and got some high-scoring playoff prep withSunday’s wild OT win over the Warriors. But that was just their second win (in 15 tries) over a top-nine Western Conference team since Jan. 18.
This week: vs. LAC
The 3-0 week didn’t do much for CBSSports.com’s Matt Moore as he actually moved the Blazers down a spot:
As long as they’re at home, and they don’t have to defend anyone, and everyone’s healthy … this team could be dangerous. Bringing new meaning to “qualified contender.”
The funny thing is the Blazers have been playing above league average defense since the All-Star break.
Pro Basketball Talk’s Kurt Helin has the Blazers up one spot from 7th to 6th:
Portland is 8-1 since LaMarcus Aldridge returned and the big win at home over Golden State Sunday (maybe the most entertaining game of the season) shows they will not go quietly in the first round. However, their defense is going to have to be improved and consistent to slow down the Rockets offense.
SB Nation’s Jason Patt did the same, moving Portland to number 6:
The Blazers have made a hard charge since LaMarcus Aldridgereturned from injury, and the No. 4 seed remains in play.
USA Today’s panel didn’t have a ranking as of the time of this posting. Will update if they do. They came in 8th in last week’s rankings.