According to Toronto Sports Network, Damian Lillard is “not a team up type of person.”
Lillard says that he wants a challenge. However, the Warriors made it pretty clear that teaming up can still bring all kinds of challenges in itself. In order to win NBA Championships nowadays, you need a minimum or three all stars or for the other teams all stars to all get devastatingly injured at the same time. Basically, teaming up is the only way to control your own destiny unless you’re Zaza Pachulia.
Damian Lillard has made it very clear that he is not leaving Portland. Loyalty is important to him which is refreshing in today’s NBA. If he is going to be on a championship team, players will have to come to him. Since he isn’t a “team up” guy, this means no monster trades or free agent signings. So, the only other way to get championship caliber players to the Blazers is by the NBA Draft. And if Portland’s history tells us anything, well, good luck with that.
Drafting Lillard and McCollum out of Weber State and Lehigh, Portland can find a diamond in the rough better than most teams. But when faced with top lottery picks, they have accounted for both of the two worst draft blunders of all time.
In 1984, they took Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan. If you don’t know who Sam Bowie is, that’s my point. Then, later on in 2007, Portland took Greg Oden instead of Kevin Durant and we all know how that turned out.
In order for Lillard to bring a championship to Portland now is to pray and hope that the Blazers find a couple more diamonds in the rough like a Nikola Jokic or Kawhi Leonard. Guys who are incredible but don’t get the recognition they deserve because they don’t have the name Duke or Kentucky associated with them. Until then, it looks like the Blazers will continue to fall victim to the ever growing Western Conference.
Unsurprisingly, contrary to the title, Portland is expected to offer All-Star Damian Lillard a supermax deal this summer to the tune of 4 years, $191 million. The 28 year old point guard, if he signs this deal, could easily finish out the rest of his career with the team that drafted him, which would make him one of the few people to actually do that in the modern NBA.
While this deal will cripple any and all likelihood that the Trail Blazers will be big players in the FA market this offseason, this is the right move to do. The Lakers will be hounding the market for any and all All-Stars that feel like their organization has wronged them. Last thing the Trail Blazers need is their best player leaving their team to head to an interconference rival.
By no means do I think Dame is beginning to hit the twilight of his career. Dame is widely regarded as a top 5 point guard in the league, with some (myself included) having him resting at 2nd best. Dame will be worth every penny of that deal, and he won’t make Portland regret retaining him. What they will regret is having almost $48 million of their cap per year dedicated to Dame, resulting in a worse roster being constructed around him.
Oh well, like most Portland fans, I’d rather see Dame D.O.L.L.A. retire as the best Trail Blazer of all time.
Damian Lillard had a truly magically close out performance against the Thunder. 50 points, 7 boards, 6 assists. The only thing a coach can say to his team at that point is to give him the ball and get out of his way. And that is exactly what they did for the last play of the game. One shot. Damian Lillard be guarded Paul George. 40 feet away from the basket, back where it all started.
Watch the play again and keep an eye on the back corner by OKC’s bench. That is where Seth Curry was telling the OKC bench that Dame was sending them home. He just did what Larry Bird and Michael Jordan used to do before big shots, but for somebody else. Which, in a way, is almost more impressive. The stare down after is just wildly disrespectful. Now, the Thunder have plenty of time to be butthurt about it as they fail to make the second round for the third straight year.
It was “a bad shot” from Lillard according to Paul George, but when he has proven that he can make that shot multiple times and already has 47 points, maybe Playoff P should have gotten a hand in his face sooner. Lucky for Seth, Dame is money from 40 feet and closer.
Recently saw that the ratings have hit a viewership dropoff akin to when Jordan retired both times. Is this because LeBron isn’t in the playoffs? Of course it is! However, I am stuck here saying this has been one of my favorite playoffs, and there are a host of reasons…
The West has had a shockingly bad playoff stretch. The Rockets and my beloved Jazz was horrible to watch. Watching the Clips take swings at the Warriors is cute, but futile. The Spurs and Nuggets is great, but it is just painful to watch the horrible shooting both teams are displaying currently. The best series is the Thunder-Trailblazers, and that is solely for the reason Dame is big brother-ing Russ out there. Or is it because Russ and the Thunder can’t hit a three if their life depended on it?
It doesn’t matter, since the East is where the action has been. Sure, the Bucks-Pistons and Raptors-Magic series were predictable in their outcomes. And the Celtics-Pacers game was disappointing without Dipo suiting up. Yet the best series of the first round goes to the 76ers-Nets matchup, where the Night King himself Jared Dudley has cemented himself as the Meme God of the playoffs.
Even though the Nets may be down 3-1 in the series right now, Game 5 is worth your attention. With Game 4 resulting in Jared Dudley taking swipes at both Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler, who knows what J-Dud has in store for us. However, he is not the only player to get ejected…
The real reason I am writing this is to point out why many around NBA media/Twitter are saying this is an amazing first round right now, and I think it is stemming from the animosity players are beginning to show again. Last year, there were 3 ejections in the entire playoffs. Before Sunday’s games, there were 7. AND THIS IS THE FIRST ROUND! I am getting some serious 90’s animosity levels on the court right now, and it is absolutely amazing to regain that aspect of entertainment for the NBA again.
Can’t wait for the Game 5’s to roll around. Might even make/buy some popcorn for this.
Paul George, AKA Playoff P, has been struggling with a shoulder injury for the better part of the month. Judging from his 4/15 3PT shooting performance in game 1 of this year’s Western Conference First Round, it was not getting any better. Even Dr. Tracy McGrady M.D. (made-up doctorate) thought he had a torn labrum. Game 2 has seen a completely different Playoff P though. Watch:
Maybe a little discomfort, but George is showing no signs of stopping.
So disrespectful on so many levels. Throws Harkless to the ground as he drains the step back, then the OKC bench encourages him to get up. Ruthless. But it’s a Western Conference Playoff game, of course, it is going to get chippy. It finally came to a head right before halftime.
Russell Westbrook and Damian Lillard, the two best players in this matchup, have been tasked with guarding each other. Two big egos going after each other every play was surely going to spark some type of temper flair.
This honestly makes me wonder if these guys know there are cameras on them at all times. You can’t just continually push somebody after the whistle and expect nothing back. And on top of that, you can’t be so obvious with your flops with the officials right in front of you. Russ threw himself to the ground like a 3 year old having a tantrum. Luckily for them, no fouls were call due to the scuffle.
In what can be described as amazing soap opera material, Russell Westbrook and the rest of the Thunder squad went up against Dame Lillard and the Portland Trailblazers. Unsurprisingly, both players started chirping at each other, resulting in both Russ and Dame trying to prove that they are the better at trash talking. Hilariously, Russ begins by saying that he has “been busting your [referring to Dame] a** for years.” In response, the Blazers called him ‘Westbrick.’
…I mean, this is amazing. Russell Westbrook is having one of his worst career years shooting the ball, and this is also happening when his usage rate is reaching an astronomical level. The amount of pettiness that has occurred is astounding, especially since the new name is slightly easier to say than his actual name.
Just in case you want to catch the sure to be drama filled next meeting, they both play each other 2/11 in Oklahoma City. Cannot WAIT to see what is in store.