Holy Shit! Damian Lillard is like a god amongst mere mortals; and seems to have a knack for knowing exactly when to call on or initiate divine intervention per his consistency in regards to balling the hell out. He is quite reminiscent of Russell Wilson where whether you’re religious or not, you look at these athlete’s successes and can’t help but wonder if there is some sort of predestined intervention-esque complex occuring.
But good Ol’ Jesus, like the rest of us, was probably knocking down a Corona (or Hefe or Fresh Squeezed as Whitty and Hair would like to imagine) while witnessing this remarkable game that ended up coming down to Damian Lillard’s continued confidence in regards to absolutely owning Russell Westbrook and the rest of the whiny Thunder squad.
I have never witnessed such a supposedly great player like Westbrook talk so much shit over the course of a series, while simultaneously losing not only games, but the general support of most of public in the process. Anyone who wasn’t blind and watched this series can agree with this. Russell Westrook postured, flexed and ran his mouth mercilessly for the entire series with the obvious mindset that he was the alpha over Damian Lillard. That premise turned out to be laughable to say the least, since in addition to Lillard “...Busting That ASS…” throughout the entire series (to quote a not so great scholar), taking into consideration all of the clout that Westbrook lost by getting absolutely owned by Lillard and outclassed in the process brewed a perfect negative public relations brewhaha and Westbrook quickly became the villain in the eyes of both casual and avid NBA fans.
The way things shook out actually felt like a movie when you consider how many shots Lillard was hitting. He went 10-18 from the 3 point line and to be honest, I don’t really remember ANY of the 8 threes that he missed. I was having some sort of out of body experience, while Lillard was operating like he was some kind of deity at work.
The moment that I realized that the Trail Blazers were going to win this game and shut this shit down was when Jusuf Nurkic decided to make a surprise appearance with 3:28 left on the game clock and his team trailing by 8. It felt like an episode of WWE Smackdown and one of your favorite wrestlers intro music just came on and they enter the stage. As soon as he was put on the jumbotron and it was known that he had arrived, there was a definite change of vibe in terms of a renewed sense of urgency and focus and the Blazers efficiently taking care of business in honor of the presence of their fallen brother. Needless to say, the Blazers rallied and the bucket seemed like it was the size of a hula hoop for Portland during the remainder of the game. Harkless was cutting, dunking, and hitting 4 BIG free throws after going 1-6 for the night. CJ found his shot and was able to hit a big 3 and a massive midrange jumper to tie it at 113. Curry came up with a steal at the best possible time, and then during “The Last Word” sat in the corner telling OKC’s bench that they would be going home for good in the next 10 seconds. Chief played perfect defence and came up with a major rebound to set Dame up for his moment in the national spotlight. Everything, for once, broke the Blazers way.
Lillard seized the momentum and was a man on a mission to make a career changing statement, even after already setting the franchise record for points in a playoff game with 47 at that point (beating the previous mark of 46 set by Aldridge). Additionally, by staring down Paul George, who should have been right in his face if we are being honest, and hitting a dagger of a buzzer beater that knocked the Oklahoma City Thunder right the fuck out of out of the first round of the playoffs for the third year in a row; this basically solidifies OKC’s position as the team that can’t make it past the first round of the playoffs in the Western Conference. The Blazers exercised their demons by passing them on to the Thunder.
People are beginning to watch Lillard’s success on a national scale and compare him to the likes of Steph Curry, which would have been unheard of outside of the Blazer bubble two weeks ago. All of us Blazer fans know that Lillard is capable of this kind of magnificence. So while I am happy to start hearing Lillard’s name come up as potentially one of the best players in the league, this topic of conversation is way overdue and it’s sad that it took the likes of such a dramatic, bitchy, gritty and publicized feud with two babies like Paul George and Russell Westbrook for Damian Lillard to start getting some serious national recognition as one of the current greats.
Speaking of Paul George, when it came to his dumb-ass opinion on the game-winning, 37 ft. dagger by Damian Lillard: He was quoted in a post game interview, saying: "That's a bad shot. I don't care what anybody says. That's a bad shot. But, hey, he made it. That story won't be told, that it's a bad shot. You live with that."
How can Paul George even begin to talk about bad shots when he plays with a human brick producing machine by the name of Russell Westbrook on a nightly basis? I could be wrong, but I didn’t hear much criticism towards Westbrook by George all season when it came to throwing up shitty shots.
Just to play devil’s advocate for the sake of page views, let’s say Paul George is technically correct from a coaching or foundational standpoint. Maybe Damian’s buzzer beater isn’t a typical shot that is going to be emphasized in early basketball development. However, he was the one tasked with covering Dame and at this point, instead of acknowledging one of the greatest shots he has ever witnessed, he just sounds like a salty moron for thinking that a 37 footer is a “bad shot” for Damian Lillard in any circumstance. He has showed time and time again that he is clutch when he needs to be. The dude just put up a 50 burger on you and your dysfunctional squad, so shut the fuck up and take your loss like a man. Take it like Parsons did 5 years ago. And, if I’m not mistaken, “Logo Lillard” started the series off by hitting pretty much the same shot. So this wasn’t like he hadn’t already been bested by that type of shot of the course of these 5 games.
Speaking of which, Parsons was a good sport about the situation on Twitter and the impending connection people were making between. He easily wins our personal ‘Tweet of the Night’ Award
The bottom line is, this moment surpassed the bubble of the devoted Blazers fans, this shot put Lillard and the Blazers on the map for a player and a team that isn’t to be fucked with lightly. This moment is also one of those rare instances where everyone who was watching will know exactly who they were with, what they were doing and how they reacted. This is a great time for the overall development of Rip City and we have our savior to thank for that.
What is BlazerTag
A group of life long blazer fans that are dedicated to sharing our authentic thoughts about the team. This unfiltered group is all about sharing the highs and lows of being a Blazer fan. We commit to one podcast a week where we encourage our fans to drink along with us and join the fun!