Record: 39-21 (6-5) | 3rd in Conference, 1st in Division
Offensive Rating: 110.1 (1st) | Defensive Rating: 104.4 (24th) | Differential: +5.7 (5th)
Noah Vonleh sighting!!!
The Trail Blazers have cooled off a bit after their scorching ten game winning streak, but at 39-21 are still on pace to finish with one of the league's top records. Suffering a 43 point loss to the Thunder, who lead them by a game and hold the tiebreaker for the 2 seed is not a good look, but overall Portland appears primed to make a deep playoff run. With 22 games remaining, the key now is to maintain that top three seed, while staying healthy.
Were the post-season to start today, the first round matchup would be the 32-27 Kings, who Portland went 2-1 against in the season series. Match-ups against the Rockets, Spurs and Clippers are all distinct possibilities as well. Regardless of who the Trail Blazers play, it appears that conference finals or bust is the sentiment of the Blazers' brain trust.
Also, shout-out to Damian Lillard for redeeming himself after that horrible 3-point shootout performance by winning the All-Star game MVP. He was chucking it out there but he got 34 points and the W so…
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Golden State continues to dominate, having won eight straight. Would anyone be that shocked if they close out the year with a 28 game win streak to win 70 again? Maybe a little, but it could happen. While the top four in the West seems to be set (props to the surging Grizzlies who are winning without Conley somehow), it's a surprisingly tight race for the lower four seeds, with only the Suns and Mavericks more or less out of it.
In the East, the Chicago Bulls continue to shock the world, by overtaking Cleveland for first in the conference. Of course, the Cavs proved in the finals last year that home court advantage isn't everything. Still, Fred Hoiberg coach of the year will never not sound weird.
Western Conference (PotM: Russell Westbrook | RotM: Brandon Ingram)
1 Golden State Warriors 50-12*
2 Oklahoma City Thunder 40-20*
3 Portland Trail Blazers 39-21*
4 Memphis Grizzlies 36-24
5 Houston Rockets 33-27
6 Sacramento Kings 32-27
7 San Antonio Spurs 31-30
8 Los Angeles Clippers 31-31
Seattle SuperSonics 30-30
Minnesota Timberwolves 30-31
Kansas City Knights 30-32
Los Angeles Lakers 29-33
Utah Jazz 28-33
Denver Nuggets 27-34
Phoenix Suns 25-35
Dallas Mavericks 18-40
Eastern Conference (PotM: LeBron James | RotM: Caris LaVert)
1 Chicago Bulls 43-17*
2 Cleveland Cavaliers 43-20
3 Toronto Raptors 39-23*
4 Detroit Pistons 36-26
5 Atlanta Hawks 36-26*
6 Boston Celtics 31-31
7 Philadelphia 76ers 30-30
8 New York Knicks 29-32
New Orleans Pelicans 28-31
Indiana Pacers 24-34
Washington Wizards 26-37
Milwaukee Bucks 25-37
Orlando Magic 23-36
Charlotte Hornets 18-45
Brooklyn Nets 17-45
Miami Heat 16-43
*** NEWS ***
Blazers Announce Rebrand For 2017-18 Season
The Portland Trail Blazers will be sporting a new look next season! They will be wearing new jerseys, and their court will have a new design, as seen in the photo below. Furthermore, it was announced that the Moda Center will go back to its original title, the Rose Garden.
Magic fire Frank Vogel, hire Steve Clifford
The Magic were doing shitty
Trevor Booker (BKN) out for season with torn achilles
So much for that last-minute playoff run...
Dante Exum (UTA) out 2-4 months with fractured left leg
Utah's offense should get a boost from this. Also ouch!
Taj Gibson (CHI) out 6-8 weeks with torn left MCL
Injuries continue to pile up for the Bulls, who win despite all odds
Arron Afflalo (SAC) out 4-6 weeks with broken right hand
Tough break for the Kings, who are fighting for a playoff spot