Portland Earns a B- Grade. Their Weaknesses and Keys to Improvement

SEASON-TO-DATE GRADE: B-

[NOTE: Early in the season, we include last season in the analysis] At 12-7 the Trail Blazers are exceeding expectations. The combined projected win total based on per game money lines is 10.3 wins. They have 4 bad losses (they were favored or got blown out as slight underdogs) vs 3 good wins (upset wins, or blowout victory in what was expected to be a close game). They have exceeded expectations in home games. Their 7-2 home record is +17% better than their expected win percentage. Their record over the last 3 weeks and win% (6-5, 55%) is pretty much what was expected of them and mirrors their season overall. The Trail Blazers are a good team (in simulations) and won 55.5% of the simulations vs every other team playing on a neutral court with players available in the playoffs (#9 in the league). They have moved up from #15 in the league back on 8/28.

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STATISTICAL STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES

SHOOTING (STRENGTH): This is an above average shooting team with a true FG% of 56% (#10 in League). The team shooting has declined to 53.1% in their last 7 games. They average 113.3 pts per game vs an expected average (based on pre-game odds) of 112.1. On the road they average 109.3 (109.8 expected), and at home 117.8 ppg (114.6 expected).

DEFENSE (STRENGTH): They are an above average defensive team holding opponents to 54.1 true FG% (#7 in League). Team defense is trending down allowing opponents to shoot 58.4% in their last 7 games. They allow 111 pts per game vs an expected value of 110.8. They are allowing 114.1 (110.8 expected) on the road, and at home 107.6 ppg (110.8 expected).

REBOUNDING (STRENGTH): They significantly outrebound opponents by an average of +4.9 per game (#3 in league).

TURNOVERS (WEAKNESS): Their average turnover margin is -2.3 per game (#28 in league).

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NEXT 5 GAME OUTLOOK: PARTLY SUNNY

The Trail Blazers next 5 game forecast looks like 'partly sunny skies'. They have 3 likely wins where they are winning >62% of the simulations which translates to being at least a -5 point favorite, and just 5 games where they are a clear underdog. The most likely scenario over the next 5 games is a record of 3-2 (35% chance). Their chances of winning their next 5 are 3.3%. At #5 in the conference, they are behind the Nuggets by half a game. With a +0.63 advantage in projected wins over their next 5 games they have a good chance of improving their conference seed. They are in a battle with Thunder in the conference. In the short-term, we do predict much of a change in the gap between them and the Thunder. There is only a -0.14 advantage in projected wins over their next 5 games. The Fatigue Index factors for travel (miles, time zones crossed) and games played. Based on this index the Trail Blazers are the 2nd most fatigued team heading into the next game. Over the next few weeks, the Trail Blazers are playing 7 games, traveling 6710 miles crossing 8 time zones. They rank #6 on the Fatigue Index during this time period.

Win%, Opp, and Distance to Road Game (**Indicates Back-to-Back)

NOV 25
LIKELY WIN
71% LAC
--
NOV 28
LIKELY WIN
69% ORL
--
NOV 30
CLOSE GAME
44% DEN
--
DEC 2
CLOSE GAME
42% @SA
1723 miles
DEC 4
CLOSE GAME
41% @DAL
1632 miles
DEC 6
LIKELY WIN
79% PHO
--
DEC 8
LIKELY WIN
64% MIN
--
DEC 11
LIKELY LOSS
30% @HOU
1836 miles
DEC 12**
CLOSE GAME
41% @MEM
485 miles
DEC 14
CLOSE GAME
49% TOR
--

According to Sportsline the Portland Trail Blazers are -4 favorites but in simulations the average spread is very different and we see this as a pick with a lot of value. Get the pick for this game at Sportsline.com.

LONG TERM OUTLOOK: MIXED BAG

The Trail Blazers are contenders to win the conference, but they have seen their chances go up and down this season. In our pre-season forecast they had a 1.1% chance of reaching the NBA Finals. On 10/17 they had a 0.2% chance before increasing to 10.4% on 11/13. From the start of the season to now their chances are up significantly to 2.4%. Before the start of their 2 game losing streak they were at 4%. They have a 41.5% chance of winning their division. They are projected to finish #5 in the conference and have a 92% chance of making the playoffs. They have a good shot at getting home court advantage in the first round (52%). Their chances of getting out of the first round is 44% and their chances of reaching the conference finals is 11.4%. The odds still give them a sliver of hope to win the West at 2% (50/1 odds) and a 1% chance of winning it all (100/1). In simulations they win the championship 0.7% of the time.

Strength of Schedule Getting Much Tougher

  • Remaining Opponents' Win Percentage Rest of Season: 51% #4 Toughest
  • Season-to-Date Opponents' Win Percentage: 48% #12 Easiest

Trail Blazers' Season Forecast Changes

DateProjected WinsPlayoff%West ChampNBA Champ
Nov 254891.9%2.4%0.7%
Nov 1352.499.2%10.4%4.8%
Difference-4.4-7.3%-8%-4.1%

FANTASY PROFILE

Based on rest of season projections, these are the 6 most valuable fantasy players based on their projected position rank (Guards, Forwards, Centers). Overvalued players are rated higher by the market based on ownership% and vice versa.

Rest of Season LeadersFP Per GameOwn % and Value
Damian Lillard42.1100% Own (Overvalued w/ Market Rank #2)
Jusuf Nurkic27.6100% Own (Fairly Valued w/ Market Rank #10)
C.J. McCollum29.5100% Own (Overvalued w/ Market Rank #19)
Zach Collins15.430% Own (Fairly Valued w/ Market Rank #30)
Al-Farouq Aminu19.561% Own (Undervalued w/ Market Rank #57)
Evan Turner14.126% Own (Fairly Valued w/ Market Rank #77)