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MMPG: Team of the Week

Portland Trail Blazers


We might look goofy right now, but you just wait until everybody is looking up at us. (AP Photo)

They aren't the hottest the team in the NBA (Boston has won eight in a row) or even the Western Conference (the Lakers have won seven), but if you take a look at the top of the Northwest Division standings, you might notice that the Portland Trail Blazers (12-6) are currently tied with the Denver Nuggets -- and are playing pretty well since Greg Oden returned from a foot injury. Since Oden came back, the Blazers are 8-3 and they have won four in a row -- with victories over Sacramento, Miami, New Orleans and Detroit.

Oden cannot take the credit for the climb up the standings, his impact has ranged from minimal (1 points, 8 rebounds in a win against New Orleans) to solid (10 points, 13 rebounds in a win against Detroit) to substantial (22 points and 10 rebounds two weeks ago in a loss to Golden State). But the beauty of the Blazers is that they can survive with Oden being a role player.

All-star Brandon Roy has picked up where he left off last season, and is averaging a career-high 21.1 points this season. Last week, Roy scored a season-high 28 points to lead Portland to a one-point win over Sacramento, then after scoring a season-low eight points in a 38-point win over Miami, he bounced back with 25 points and 10 assists against Chris Paul and the Hornets. He had 19 in an impressive 96-85 road win in Detroit, but LaMarcus Aldridge matched his season high with 27 points to carry the Blazers, who will visit Verizon Center on Wednesday.

By Michael Lee  |  December 1, 2008; 10:33 AM ET
 
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