25, 7 & 4.
Apparently, that’s not enough to warrant an All-Star selection in a stacked, Western Conference field. For Damian Lillard, it’s just another piece of motivation in a basketball life filled with constant “slights” and a lack of respect.
The fact is, Lillard isn’t just another “all-most” star in a league that features an eclectic cast of talented players. He’s a superstar – a humble, yet absolutely deadly Top Dog who can explode in an instant.
Case in point the past 6 games…shortly after Lillard was left off the All-Star team.
21 & 10 at HOU
33, 5, & 4 at MEM
31 & 9 v. HOU
51 & 7 v. GSW
30 & 5 v. UTA
34 & 4 v. BKN
6 huge games. 6 straight victories for Portland. While everyone was (rightfully) wallowing in the tremendous festivities this past All-Star weekend had to offer, Lillard was plotting his own attack once action resumed.
There’s no way to know for sure but I like to think Dame has concocted his own, Chad Johnson/Gilbert Arenas-esque “list” of names in an effort to show his rivals both he and the Blazers are a force.
In the midst of a playoff fight, Dame came out with a vengeance against the champs and helped PDX secure key victories over Utah and Brooklyn in the process.
The Golden State game was a full, attack-mode version of Lillard, who’s starting to drive to the basket more with a confident scorer like CJ McCollum (he and Dame both scored 30+ in two straight games!) playing at an extremely high level:
Like a bellowing echo from a recently awoken beast, Lillard’s decimation of the champs signaled a shift in both the league’s superstar hierarchy and the MVP race.
The Blazers, picked by many to finish in the bottom half of the league, are steadily climbing the postseason ladder, gaining confidence by the day.
And it ALL starts with Dame, a different breed of star with a suddenly dwindling list of doubters.