|2011-12 Team Ratings|
|10th Overall||7th Overall|
Stats through Feb. 16
LaMarcus Aldridge is an All-Star and on the short list of the best power forwards in the league. The seemingly ageless Marcus Camby is still a force on the glass and defense and Gerald Wallace is a great fit at small forward.
Issues remain at point guard, where Raymond Felton has failed to win over Nate McMillan, and the depth behind Felton is shaky at best. The underrated Wesley Matthews is relentless on both ends.
The Trail Blazers are hands down the best defensive team in the division. Matthews, Wallace, Camby and Nicolas Batum are among the best individual defenders in the league at their respective positions
Batum and Jamal Crawford give the Trail Blazers two reserves who could be starters most anywhere and Kurt Thomas is still good for 15 minutes a night of roughhousing in the post. No one else stands out.
McMillan has had to endure more adversity, injury-related and front office-related as well, than most during his tenure. His hot seat heats up with every rough patch. But these issues with his point guards is a problem.
The Trail Blazers have already set the season-high for players' only team meetings. They have one every few days just to make sure everyone is comfortable with their role and clear about how they feel about one another. That collective indifference might have something to do with a glaring leadership void in the locker room and losing Brandon Roy to retirement before the season began. They've got the pieces needed to be a serious factor in the Western Conference playoff chase but need all of them pulling in the same direction if they are going to maximize their potential.
The one thing looming over their entire season, though, is McMillan's job security. It's never quite clear how much he has. Every tailspin they encounter sparks another round of rumblings about McMillan being on the way out, yet he's still there. A season-long dance back and forth across that line will only serve to hold this team back.
-- Sekou Smith
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||C-|
|Los Angeles Clippers||B|
|Los Angeles Lakers||B-|
|New Jersey Nets||D|
|New Orleans Hornets||F|
|New York Knicks||C+|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||B-|
|San Antonio Spurs||A|