Tonight's game against the Lakers (7:30 PM Pacific start time on TNT, or whenever the early game, in this case Celtics v. Mavericks, gets over) marks the halfway point of the season. And with the All-Star break just a few days away, you're likely to see a bunch of mid-season reviews over the next week. NBA.com's Sekou Smith, like so many teachers before an extended holiday, already has his grading out of the way, and he's given the Trail Blazers' performance this season a B-
The Trail Blazers have already set the season-high for players' only team meetings. They have one every few days just to make sure everyone is comfortable with their role and clear about how they feel about one another. That collective indifference might have something to do with a glaring leadership void in the locker room and losing Brandon Roy to retirement before the season began. They've got the pieces needed to be a serious factor in the Western Conference playoff chase but need all of them pulling in the same direction if they are going to maximize their potential.
A pretty fair assessment, in my opinion, especially considering every other team in the Northwest Division, aside from teacher's pet Oklahoma City, got a B. The team got their highest individual mark at frontcourt, with the work of LaMarcus Aldridge and Marcus Camby earning a solid A, with the lowest mark, C-, given to the backcourt. Again, hard to argue with any of those grades based off of the first 30 games.