Blazers no longer a threat out West?
PER Diem: Dec. 11, 2009
Updated: December 11, 2009, 12:46 PM ETBy John Hollinger | ESPN.com
Sam Forencich/NBAE/Getty ImagesGreg Oden's season-ending knee injury is just one of the many problems that have plagued Portland.Will a plausible rival to the Lakers in the Western Conference please step forward? A month into the season the Lakers look as good as ever, but their competition for the conference crown seems deeply flawed. Not only do today's Playoff Odds project no West team besides L.A. to win more than 52 games, today's Power Rankings place only one West team -- the aforementioned Lakers -- in the league's top five.