NBA Western Power Rankings Week 4: Warriors make history

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Nov 20, 2015; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) reacts after scoring a three point shot against the Los Angeles Clippers at Moda Center at the Rose Quarter. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

12th: Portland Trail Blazers (15 points)

By Tom West

Record: 6-9

Record last week: 2-3

We’ve seen four weeks of the 2015-16 NBA season go past, and the Trail Blazers have stuck with what they know best by letting their shooting backcourt lead them forward. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are averaging 25.5 points and 20.1 points per game respectively, and are the key reason why the Blazers’ offense has provided them with six wins so far.

In fact, they rank 9th in offensive efficiency. Which, seeing as LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum all left this summer, is pretty impressive.

The Blazers’ backcourt pushes the pace, makes a combined five threes per game, and gives the team an identity that has been made possible the the rapid improvement of McCollum this season. As for their frontcourt, they’ve been using a mixture of Mason Plumlee, Meyers Leonard, Ed Davis and Chris Kaman. The first two haven’t stood out as quality starters yet, but at least offer the Blazers some hustle with Plumlee and floor spacing with Leonard’s shooting.

Last week, they started out with a three game losing streak before correcting themselves with wins against the struggling Clippers and lost Lakers. It took them to up to 11th in the West, although it’s hard to see that they’ll climb too much higher this season. They just don’t have enough weapons or a reliable defense to make anything happen when the playoffs roll around.

Next: Sacramento Kings