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Midseason Report Card Header
Portland
Blazers
A
Stats Through Jan. 20
W-L 31-10
PCT .756
DIV 5-1
CONF 16-8
HOME 16-4
ROAD 15-6
Team Pic
Frontcourt
A
LaMarcus Aldridge is having a sensational season. Sizable credit goes to center Robin Lopez, who has allowed Aldridge to play strictly power forward. Nic Batum quietly does it all.
Backcourt
A
Just how dynamic and clutch is Damian Lillard? That's a rhetorical question. Wesley Matthews is money from beyond the arc and super-sub Mo Williams has been a godsend.
Defense
C
This unit has ranked in the bottom 10 all season. The Blazers have been poor on pick-and-roll, but have also shown the ability to guard well in stretches. They're good rebounders.
Bench
B-
Anything's an improvement over the bare bones of last season. Williams has been instant offense with occasional contributions coming from elsewhere. Rookie C.J. McCollum could become a bright spot.
Coaching
A
Terry Stotts is a top Coach of the Year candidate. The flow offense is cranking, incorporating the strengths of each starter. Camaraderie has been a big theme and it starts at the top.
Summary

How could a team whose star predicted a finish as the seventh or eighth seed -- yet is flirting with the No. 1 seed halfway through the season -- receive anything other than an A? The Blazers have been the talk of the league, a feel-good story after the years of suffering through the Jail Breakers and the litany of injuries that have doomed this franchise. Portland is the only team in the league to have started the same five players in every game it's played this season. Nicolas Batum has kept that streak alive lately by playing through a broken left middle finger because he doesn't want to come out of the lineup.

Two big questions face the Blazers: 1) Can they continue their torrid shooting through the second half, and 2) Will their middling defense come back to bite them when their shooting goes cold, and especially in a long playoff series when things get down and dirty?

-- Jeff Caplan

2013-14 Team Rating
Offense Defense
110.6 105.3
1st Overall 22nd Overall