As of right now the Blazers, Rip City’s finest, lead the Clippers 3-2 in the first round of the playoffs. I really don’t want to say its all because of Damian Lillard, because roll players like Al-Farouq Aminu and C.J McCollum (19.6 and 13 ppg in the playoffs respectively) have been stepping up, but it is kind of all because of Damian Lillard. Nobody predicted the team that lost LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum could still be good, but they finished top 5 in the West, which is no small achievement.
Lillard had, by all accounts, a great year, averaging 25.1 points, 4 boards, and 6.8 assists to game, while leading a team whose third highest scorer was Allan Crabbe. Twenty bucks says not 20% of NBA fans know who Allen Crabbe is. Players like Maurice Harkless, Al-Farouq Aminu, and C.J. McCollum all head career year, and that does not just happen. It happens when a star makes those around him better. It’s what LeBron did with the Cavs for players like JJ Hickson and Leon Powe.
Its crazy to say that a player like Lillard is underrated because people do talk about how good he is. That being said, I think he’s easily a top 10 player, potentially the biggest all-star snub in any sport ever, and also a guy who in a few years will have his name right up there with the best in the league.