No Love For Lillard As Potential All Star
As of right now, it’s Lillard Time, but no major media outlet seems to be checking their clocks.
Look, I’m a biased Blazer fan, it’s in my blood. Nevertheless, I can’t get over that fact that Damian Lillard is excelling beyond everyone’s expectations. We need to get serious when we mention All Star and Damian Lillard in the same sentence.
To start this current season: No LaMarcus Aldridge. No Wes Matthews. No Nicolas Batum. No Robin Lopez. 4/5 of the starters left the team and that put Portland into an assumed rebuilding position. Vegas had the Portland Trail Blazers winning 26 games.
Portland has beat the odds, and now have won 12 of their last 15 games, including handing the Warriors their 5th loss of the season.
Putting it out there on a whim, but Damian Lillard is a top-five point guard in the NBA.
How does a player lead his team from an absolutely devastating offseason where four core players depart? Heart and soul. Damian lillard has pushed Rip City up to 6th place in the Western conference standings. Even doing that mid way through the season, still doesn’t get anymore respect from the league, fans or Adam Silver. Damian Lillard has brought NBA fans some of the best games seen on TV. It alls started last year, where Lillard exploded onto the potential all star scene. In the 2013-2014 overtime playoffs, shooting 42.9%. Netting that many shots, even when former blazer, LaMarcus Aldridge was on the team, is absolutely impressive.
It’s a sort of different skills that sets Lillard into the All Star conversation. Whether it’s dunks, crafty dribbling, or a lethal pull-up jumper, Lillard’s arsenal of weapons makes him one of the most dangerous guards in the league. Unlike players such as Westbrook, Tony Parker, or even Chris Paul, Lillard finds a way to get opposing guards to fall asleep on defense. Maybe it’s the hesitation moves, the step back or shooter’s confidence.
He is a monster, a monster that has been let of his cage for all the NBA to enjoy and he doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt to be an All-Star for the 2015-2016 campaign. My goodness, that is terrible.
It’s not just the last couple of seasons, Portland’s franchise player made his mark as the man from the very beginning. Earning Rookie of the Year by a unanimous account, an honor only Blake Griffin, David Robinson and Ralph Sampson have also achieved. Lillard also joined Oscar Robertson and Allen Iverson as the only rookies in NBA history to record 1,500 points and 500 assists in a season. He’s a man that can score at will and put up video game numbers on a nightly basis. He broke the all time NBA rookie record for 3 pointers in a season (185), a title previously held by Stephen Curry (166).
This season alone, Lillard has impressed the doubters. His season average is 25 points per game, 7 assists and 4 rebounds. Outstanding. His co-pilot, CJ McCollum has performed well under the radar. But you can’t deny a guy that has done everything since his rookie year until now. He has represented a small market team, the Portland Trail Blazers, and lead with class and swagger. He treats the fans, media, and other basketball players well. In addition, Lillard can spit fire on the mic.
If you still don’t believe how well Lillard has done now… I present to you:
STAT TIME (Courtsey of Trail Blazers PR)
- February 21’s victory over the Jazz, Lillard becomes first Trail Blazer with 5 straight games of 30+ points since Geoff Petrie (1970-71).
- Damian Lillard is one of five NBA players with 30+ points in four straight games this season (Stephen Curry x2, Paul George, Lebron James, Russell Westbrook).
- He is the only NBA player ever to make 150+ 3 pointers in each of his first four seasons.
- Damian Lillard is currently the only player in the NBA currently ranked in the Top 6 in both scoring and assists.
- No NBA player has averaged more points in the past 5 games, Damian Lillard, (35.8)
- Steph Curry and Damian have had 7 30+ games in the month of February.
The Portland guard will continue to dominate just as he is. He loves that Rip City doesnt get love from the media. Portland’s guard enjoys besting teams like the Warriors. It’s definitely true that coming out of Weber State, Lillard has always had a chip on his shoulder. That type of mentality is needed if Portland wants to continue the roll they are on after the All-Star break because it doesn’t get much harder than playing in the Western Conference.
It will be interesting for Trailblazer fans to see if the dynamic duo that is Lillard and McCollum can develop more. Both players have shown that they are shot creators, excellent finishing around the basket, and can drain shots from beyond the arc. It will absolutely be a necessity for both of them to click during the second part of the stretch this NBA season. Right now the Blazers are clicking but they need to catch fire. It’s in the hands of one guy.
Viva la Lillard.