Power Rankings: Win Streak Keeps Trail Blazers At The Top

<p >The Trail Blazers extended their league-leading winning streak to 10 games after defeating the Miami Heat 115-99 Monday night at the Moda Center, which means it's been a month since their last loss. And in that time, Portland has gone from having a one-game lead over the Denver Nuggets for sixth-place in the West to a two-game lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder for third-place with 15 games to play. </p > <p >All those wins have also resulted in the Trail Blazers moving steadily up the weekly Power Rankings. Portland shows up no lower than No. 5 on this week's rankings and are as high as No. 3. That's probably their ceiling unless one of the teams in the Rockets/Warriors/Raptors group really falls off, which is something I'm not sure anyone outside of Portland's locker room thought would be the case at this point in the season. </p > <p >Yet here they are. It's only going to get more difficult to keep up their current level of play in the final month of the season -- all of the Trail Blazers' next seven games are against teams fighting for playoff position -- but they've shown over the last 10 games that they're up for any challenge. </p > <p >Now onto this week's rankings...</p > <p >• The panel at ESPN <code data-tlink="http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/22724518/nba-power-rankings-our-expert-panel-unveils-rankings-week-22&quot; >has the Trail Blazers at No. 4 this week</code >, one spot better than last week…</p > <p >With long winning streaks for the Rockets and Pelicans both falling on Friday, Portland's nine-game run is now the longest active streak in the NBA. Perhaps more impressive is that two of the Warriors' past three losses have come at the hands of the Blazers.</p > <p >The folks at ESPN have the Trail Blazers behind the Raptors at No. 3 and ahead of the Celtics at No. 5.</p > <p >• John Schuhmann at NBA.com <code data-tlink="http://www.nba.com/powerrankings/2017-18-week-22#/&quot; >has the Trail Blazers at No. 4 this week</code >, same as last week...</p > <p ><strong >Pace:</strong > 99.0 (18) <strong >OffRtg:</strong > 105.9 (15) <strong >DefRtg:</strong > 104.1 (7) <strong >NetRtg:</strong > +1.8 (11)</p > <p >The Blazers' nine-game winning streak now includes two wins over the Warriors in which Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum combined to average 65.5 points on an effective field goal percentage of 57 percent. As a unit, the Portland starting lineup has scored 114 points per 100 possessions over the course of the streak, but between the two wins over the champs were seven games in which the Blazers held every opponent under a point per possession, and bench minutes have been critical. In fact, only the Toronto bench has been better since the start of the Blazers' winning streak and Portland has outscored its opponents by 18 points per 100 possessions with Zach Collins on the floor over the nine games. The rookie matched his career high (12 points) on 5-for-6 shooting against the Warriors on Friday.</p > <p >Schuhmann has the Trail Blazers behind the Warriors at No 3 and ahead of the Celtics at No. 5.</p > <p >• Rohan Radkarni of SI.com <code data-tlink="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/03/12/nba-power-rankings-raptors-rockets-warriors-demar-derozan-james-harden&quot; >has the Trail Blazers at No. 3 this week</code >, one spot better than last week...</p > <p >Portland is the hottest team in the league, now having won nine in a row. The Blazers still only have a two-game lead on the Pelicans and Wolves in the bunched-up West.</p > <p >Radkarni has the Trail Blazers ahead of the Warriors at No. 4 and behind the Rockets at No. 2.</p > <p >• Chris Barnewall at CBSSports.com <code data-tlink="https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/nba-power-rankings-could-we-be-in-for-a-raptors-vs-rockets-matchup-in-nba-finals/&quot; >has the Trail Blazers at No. 3</code >, one spot better than last week...</p > <p >After a win over the Warriors, Damian Lillard said that the Trail Blazers were the "real deal." With nine consecutive wins, and a hold of third place in the West, it's really starting to feel that way. The big difference between this edition of the Blazers and the previous teams in the past? This team plays great defense.</p > <p >Barnewall has the Trail Blazers behind the Rockets at No. 2 and ahead of the Warriors at No. 4.</p > <p >• The panel of voters at USA Today <code data-tlink="https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2018/03/12/nba-power-rankings-raptors-legit-pacers-jazz-keep-rising/415718002/&quot; >has the Trail Blazers at No. 5 this week</code >, unchanged from last week...</p > <p >The longest winning streak in the NBA belongs to the Blazers, who haven't strung together this many consecutive wins since 2013. They have the NBA's second-ranked defense (tied with Indiana) during this stretch, allowing just 99.2 points per 100 possessions.</p > <p >The folks at USA Today have the Trail Blazers behind the Celtics at No. 4 and ahead of the Pelicans at No. 6.</p > <p >• Brad Rowland at Uproxx <code data-tlink="https://uproxx.com/dimemag/nba-power-rankings-toronto-raptors-warriors-rockets-cavs-celtics/3/&quot; >has the Trail Blazers at No. 4</code >, two spots better than last week...</p > <p >The team with the longest active winning streak in the NBA is… the Blazers! Portland just fired off 10 straight victories (including two over the Warriors) and, with that in mind, it is impossible to keep them out of the top five this week. Save the “is this sustainable?” talk for later.</p > <p >Rowland has the Trail Blazers behind the Raptors at No. 3 and ahead of the Jazz at No. 5.</p >

The Trail Blazers extended their league-leading winning streak to 10 games after defeating the Miami Heat 115-99 Monday night at the Moda Center, which means it's been a month since their last loss. And in that time, Portland has gone from having a one-game lead over the Denver Nuggets for sixth-place in the West to a two-game lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder for third-place with 15 games to play. 

All those wins have also resulted in the Trail Blazers moving steadily up the weekly Power Rankings. Portland shows up no lower than No. 5 on this week's rankings and are as high as No. 3. That's probably their ceiling unless one of the teams in the Rockets/Warriors/Raptors group really falls off, which is something I'm not sure anyone outside of Portland's locker room thought would be...

The Trail Blazers extended their league-leading winning streak to 10 games after defeating the Miami Heat 115-99 Monday night at the Moda Center, which means it's been a month since their last loss. And in that time, Portland has gone from having a one-game lead over the Denver Nuggets for sixth-pla...

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