Damian Lillard’s Stock is Rising in 2014 Playoffs

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    Updated: April 29, 2014
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    If Chris Paul looks in his rear view mirror, he can see that Damian Lillard is riding his bumper as if he were a NASCAR driver in the Daytona 500.

    After watching the first four games of the best of seven series between the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets, it seems as if most of the attention has been given to Blazer’s power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. But it’s easy to see why Aldridge is getting so much praise. 

    The 6’11 forward is averaging 35 points and 12 rebounds through four games in this series. The man has looked unstoppable at times. With all that being said, he may need to take a ride in the passenger’s seat because Damian Lillard is in the driver’s seat of the Blazers offense. 

    Lillard is quietly averaging 26 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists so far in the playoffs. To put this context, LeBron James averaged 27 points 8 rebounds and 7 assists last year during his league MVP and NBA Finals MVP winning campaign.  

    There is no longer a star in the making when it comes to Mr. Lillard, because quite frankly in my eyes he has arrived. 

    All series long Lillard has been blowing by fellow All-Star James Harden and finishing at the rack against former three-time defensive player of the year Dwight Howard. And Lillard is being guarded by an emerging defensive star stopper in Patrick Beverly and is still averaging MVP type numbers.  

    Chris Paul and Steph Curry are the #1 and #2 point guards in the league, but Lillard is making a strong case for himself in the 2014 Playoffs. He has shown a tremendous amount of maturity for a 23-year-old second year pro.

    On top of it all, he’s doing all this when it matters most, in the playoffs. It’s in the post season where stars and legends are born. Before Lillard’s career is over, I can guarantee multiple championships because he shows a dedication and fearlessness that I have only seen in Dwyane Wade when he first entered the NBA.         

    When we see the likes of Russell Westbrook and Steph Curry struggling in their own first round match-ups, it puts the spotlight that much more on what Lillard is doing right now. He has been able to shoot, pass and drive to the hoop effectively making the right choices each dribble of the way.

    If I were just a casual fan that just happened to watch this first round series between the Rockets and the Blazers, I would have assumed Lillard was a seasoned veteran.

    Being drafted #6 in the 2012 NBA Draft no one could see him being this good this early in his career. The only other player having this big of an impact in his second season is Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans, who was drafted number one in the 2012 draft. That’s not bad company to be mentioned in if you are Lillard.

    Father time is catching up to a slew of NBA players such as Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki.

    The great news is that we are seeing an emergence of young stars in the league today, and to me there is none more exciting than Damian Lillard. There is still a series to win and a lot more basketball to be played before the Blazers accomplish anything of substance. 

    But with the leadership of Lillard and Aldridge, the Blazers have a chance to shock the west and make an appearance in the NBA Finals. Wouldn’t that be quite a feat for the young Damian Lillard out of Weber State. 

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    1. Keith

      April 29, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      Wow the guy who wrote this should be writing for espn!
      Extremely well said Lillard all the way!

      • Frantz Paul

        Frantz Paul

        May 1, 2014 at 3:06 PM

        Yeah he’s really good.

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