How Have The Blazers Overachieved?

So, the Blazers sign Nate McMillan to a two-year contract extension, which would seem to be the obvious move. And while there has been much talk about the job he has done in the wake of the injuries, that’s not the most impressive thing about the Blazers’ performance this year.

Portland, now 37-27 after wins at Orlando and Miami, is outscoring opponents by 0.9 points per game. Typically, a team with such a ratio would be 32-32 at this point in the season. The Blazers rank ninth in the Western Conference in point differential, but are tied for fifth in the standings.

For the season, the Blazers are 13-9 in games decided by five points or less. But since losing to Phoenix on Jan. 14, Portland is 6-1 in such games. Five points is an arbitrary number; the Blazers are 5-4 in games decided by three points or less. But it’s safe to say that Portland has been better in close games than the Miami Heat have.

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