Written by: Ongeleke Racine Turner
Portland Trailblazers guard Damian Lillard has been dropping a lot more than just dimes in what is observed to be his best NBA season yet. This current 3x NBA All Star is playing with a huge chip on his shoulder. Every night, he comes out to perform with the mindset that he has something to prove to all of the naysayers who may have any doubts about his abilities and what he can do as the leader of his team. The Portland Trailblazers have been ripping through the competition, recording the franchises longest winning streak at 13 games this season, which came to an end last week after losing to the Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics. Since the All Star break, the Blazers have been on a mission to right the wrongs of the first half of their NBA season and make a solid push toward the top on the Western Conference Standings.
After losing LaMarcus Aldridge after the 2015 season in free agency, there were many questions surrounding the Blazers organization as well as questions surrounding what Damian Lillard could do for this team and how far could he actually take them. Often the subject of NBA All Star vote snubs and harsh criticism, Dame (former 2013 Rookie of the Year); taking all of this into consideration, made the decision to rise to the occasion, put the city of Portland and team on his back, to carry them as far as he knows they can go. He is the heart, soul, and driving force behind this team’s success. Currently, Dame and the Portland Trailblazers are sitting in the 3rd place spot in the Western Conference, only trailing behind the 1st place Houston Rockets, with the defending champion GS Warriors in 2nd place, in a conference where only 2-4 games separate spots 3-8! The competition is thick! But Dame has not backed down from any challenges. The negativity and doubt of outsiders has only seemed to make him work even harder to make sure that his team secures their place going into the post season.
Currently averaging 26.6 points per game for the season, along with 4 and a half rebounds and 6.5 assists per game, this Oakland native is ready to unleash the beast that lies within his rising star persona. He has made known that he is a legitimate scoring force to be reckoned with in this league. Since February 8, Dame Dolla has averaged 33.8 PPG! Heading into the playoffs, Dame has put the rest on the league on notice that he can drop 30 plus points on any given night. It appears that the peak of Dolla $eason is heating up at just the right time, with only 8 games remaining to close out the regular season. He is shooting 44% from the field and nearly 40% from behind the arch. Dame has been the major reason that the team has adopted the slogan RIP CITY ON THEY A$$! He has spearheaded the team’s identity as they have shredded through some of the leagues toughest competitors this season. The Blazers are currently at 46-28 and are on track for at least a 50-win season, which is something that no one would have ever predicted for this team at the start of the NBA year. The Blazers have beat the Warriors twice this year and have completed a season sweep against the Oklahoma City Thunder which are the two teams in front and behind the Blazers as presently constructed in the Western Conference Standings. It is time for fellow NBA players, fans and associates to Wake Up give Dame the credit that he deserves as a rising, star studded point guard who has upgraded his game tremendously over the last two NBA seasons, especially in the area of 3 point shooting. Dame is currently shooting an average of ten 3’s per game. In fact, Dame has made more 3’s than one of the purest sharp shooters in the history of the NBA in Klay Thompson of the GS Warriors this season. To add to the Dolla resume, he has a slightly better 3-point field goal percentage than the NBA’s MVP front-runner James Harden of the red-hot Houston Rockets, and we know Harden has been knocking them down from deep!
Late in the game, when the score is tight and Dame looks up and points to his wrist, he’s putting the crowd and opponents on notice that it is his time and he will pull out ALL the stops to make sure that his squad reigns supreme! In a recent game against the New Orleans Pelicans, Dame dropped 41 points on Anthony Davis and crew. To add insult to injury, 20 of his 41 points were scored in the 4th quarter! His confidence has only increased; it has never wavered. I think it is safe to say that Dolla $eason is upon us! Stay tuned to see what Dame has in store for the playoffs; after all, it is Tax Season! He is taking all bets and cashing all checks… taking them straight to the bank!
Written by Ongeleke Racine Turner of Detroit, MI. Check out her personal blog here. You can connect with her on social media on Instagram and Twitter @crazie_lov3. Send her an email at email@example.com
Images used in this post were derived from various internet sources such as google images, Instagram and other sites; are not original or being used as such.