Monday, November 17, 2008

Power Ranking Recap: November 17

Monday's are for power rankings. After winning five of the last six (three of four on the road!), I'm assuming we'll see our beloved Portland Trail Blazers rise up rankings.

Marc Stein of
has Portland ranked 11th, up three spots from last week. Comments Stein ...
Question No. 1: Will Roy's buzzer-beating heave to beat Houston go down as the shot that started Portland's season? No. 2: Shouldn't the injury-obsessed media make a much bigger deal about Oden's two straight quality showings?
Yes and double-yes.

The Trail Blazes actually moved down in John Hollinger's rankings, bumping one spot from 16th to 17th. My understanding is that Hollinger's formula hates close wins, so the fact that the Trail Blazers have won their six games by an average of 4.5 points probably doesn't bode well in the eyes of Mr. Hollinger's computer.

Marty Burns of Sports Illustrated puts the Trail Blazers at 10th, up two spots from last week. Burns writes ...
Ready to rip in Rip City? Greg Oden is back in the lineup, and they have won five of six -- including three of four on their current road trip that ends Tuesday in Golden State. Oden has averaged 12.0 points, 9.5 boards and 3.5 blocks in just 24 minutes in his last two games.
Those are very nice numbers for Mr. Oden, but jumping to conclusions when he's doing well is no better than jumping to conclusions when he's not.

Yahoo's Ball Don't Lie
puts the Red and Black at 9th thanks to the addition of one defensive presence.
The worst defensive team (29th) that nobody knows about ... wait, I'm sorry, did someone order a 7-footer with skills?

I realize it's not a team power ranking, but it's still worth noting that Mike Kahn of FoxSports puts Brandon Roy at No. 9 in his MVP watch.
So much attention has been heaped upon the Blazers of late, but most of the focus has been on the plight of 7-footer Greg Oden. In the process, everyone may be missing the boat on Roy, the unequivocal leader of this team on and off the floor. His numbers -- 21.0 points, 5.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds -- are good but don't tell the story. His demand for the ball, making the right play and being incredibly clutch down the stretch give coach Nate McMillan his coach on the floor and confidence to everyone around him. For all the young talent, including Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Fernandez, none of it works unless Roy has the ball in his hands.
He's the straw that stirs the drink! The straw I tell you!

More Roy. Chris Colston of USA Today has the Trail Blazers at No. 11 in his/her rankings, with this comment about our starting shooting guard ...
Brandon Roy emerging as star in 3-1 week.
Using the word "emerging" would indicate that Roy wasn't already a star. Roy's not a superstar, but he is most definitely a star.

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