There was three quarters of a solid game between New Orleans and Portland on Friday, as chronicled by Kevin Pelton. This was one of those deceptive-type matchups on the schedule that seems as if it could be a measuring stick game for both teams. In fact, New Orleans, not the deepest of squads anyway, was coming off a hard-fought win in Denver on Thursday. With the Hornets up by four late in the third quarter, Byron Scott‘s crew got a bad case of the old back-to-backs.
It was still a good win for the Blazers, who are tied with Utah and Phoenix for the second-best record in the West behind LA. Way behind LA. In fact, if current winning percentages were to hold up, the Lakers would win the West by 23 games.
Portland is a strong fourth in my current power rankings, playing like a 60-win team. The Blazers face a rugged stretch coming up as they head east for five games, including stops in Detroit and Boston. By the time they return to sniff the Rose Garden, the Blazers’ will have played 15 of their first 22 games on the road. If they’re still sitting at second in the West after this road trip, easier times lie ahead.
Nov. 28 (19.1% of season complete, 235/1230 games)
No. Player, team gRATE _1. james,lebron_cle 16.7 _2. wade,dwyane_mia 11.7 _3. granger,danny_ind 11.4 _4. bynum,andrew_lal 10.3 _5. allen,ray_bos 9.9 _6. herrmann,walter_det 9.8 _7. okur,mehmet_uta 9.0 _8. graham,joey_tor 8.8 _9. brewer,corey_min 8.8 10. okafor,emeka_cha 8.5
No. Player, team gRATE _1. smith,jr_den 15.2 _2. butler,rasual_nwo 9.8 _3. johnson,anthony_orl 9.7 _4. paul,chris_nwo 8.9 _5. howard,dwight_orl 8.1 _6. carter,anthony_den 5.3 _7. daniels,antonio_was 2.1 _8. lee,courtney_orl 2.0 _9. butler,caron_was 1.9 10. andersen,chris_den 1.7
No. Player, team gRATE _1. jefferson,al_min 11.8 _2. gordon,eric_lac 11.0 _3. millsap,paul_uta 10.9 _4. gordon,ben_chi 10.0 _5. anderson,ryan_njn 9.7 _6. ilgauskas,zydrunas_cle 9.6 _7. rondo,rajon_bos 9.3 _8. afflalo,arron_det 9.2 _9. outlaw,travis_por 9.1 10. nash,steve_phx 8.7
Explanation of gRATE here:
In the news
- The Celtics had Sam Cassell on their active roster for the first time this season on Friday for the game against the Sixers. Cassell took the spot of Gabe Pruitt, who was ill. Cassell didn’t play in the game.
- With Jason Richardson back in the lineup, the D.J. Augustin–Raymond Felton backcourt experiment came to an end, at least for the time being. Charlotte beat Indiana in OT as Felton scored a season-best 31 points. Augustin did play 35 minutes off the bench as Larry Brown elected to go small for most of the contest.
- Don’t look now, but the Spurs welcomed Tony Parker back to the roster on Friday in San Antonio’s win over Memphis. Parker hardly looked rusty, scoring 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting in 16 minutes off the bench. The game marked the first time this season that Gregg Popovich‘s core trio of Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Giniobili played in the same game.
+10 cle @ mil, 9:00 p.m. EST [ cle by 13 ] + 9 ind @ orl, 7:00 p.m. EST [ orl by 10 ] + 7 sas @ hou, 8:30 p.m. EST [ hou by 5 ] + 5 bos @ cha, 7:00 p.m. EST [ bos by 11 ] + 1 njn @ uta, 9:00 p.m. EST [ uta by 13 ] - 2 den @ min, 8:00 p.m. EST [ den by 4 ] - 5 atl @ was, 7:00 p.m. EST [ atl by 7 ] - 8 dal @ sac, 10:00 p.m. EST [ dal by 7 ] - 8 mia @ lac, 10:30 p.m. EST [ mia by 10 ] - 9 gsw @ nyk, 7:30 p.m. EST [ nyk by 4 ] -21 okc @ mem, 8:00 p.m. EST [ mem by 12 ]
Notes: Games listed in order of quality, as determined by the sum of each team’s efficiency ratio. NBAPET projected winner and margin of victory is listed in brackets.