MMPG: Team of the Week
Portland Trail Blazers
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.
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