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Damian Lillard: The backbone of the Portland Trail Blazers

This year’s NBA season has brought a lot of entertainment and thrilling encounters, which has seen a lot of players rise to the challenge on numerous occasions. Most of these players have been standout performers who play for some of the struggling teams in the NBA this season, as in the case of the Portland Trail Blazers team this season. Portland Trail Blazers have found difficulties recording good results so far this season. Portland Trail Blazers are 9th on the Western Conference table and 4th in the Northwest Division this season with a 29-37 win-loss record. Despite the disappointing campaign, they have endured so far this season, Portland Trail Blazers have had a few high points.

This season has seen Point Guard Damian Lillard continue to shine for his team despite their struggles. At the age of 29 years, Damian Lillard is in his prime and is having the best season of his NBA career. Lillard’s consistent performances for the Trail Blazers this season has been one of the reasons why the team is in their current position and not close to the bottom to the Western Conference table.

We take a look at Damian Lillard’s career at Portland Trail Blazers over the years and the statistics that prove how valuable and influential he has been for Portland Trail Blazers this season.

 

Damian Lillard’s previous NBA seasons in Numbers

After a brilliant career in High School and College Basketball, Damian Lillard made the first in his professional career by deciding to enter the 2012 NBA draft. Damian Lillard’s talents attracted the interests of Portland Trail Blazers, who selected him as the sixth overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft. He made his competitive debut for Portland Trail Blazers in the season-opening game of the season on 31st October 2012 against the Los Angeles Lakers and made an immediate impact. Lillard ended the game with 23 points and 11 assists to become the third player in NBA history to finish their debut game with at least 20 points and ten assists. The other two players to achieve such a feat were Oscar Robertson and Allen Iverson. At the end of his rookie season, Lillard had averaged 19.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 0.90 steals in 82 games. His performances also earned him numerous individual accolades, including the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He also won the Western Conference Rookie of the Month award for every single month.

After an excellent rookie season, Lillard went into his second year with the Portland Trail Blazers as a top young talent in the NBA. In his second season with the Trail Blazers, Lillard averaged 20.7 points, 5.6 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game in 82 appearances as a starter. His performances helped the Trail Blazers secure a place in the 2014 NBA playoffs. However, the Trail Blazers failed to progress past the second round after losing against the San Antonio Spurs. They had beaten Houston Rockets in the first round to advance with Lillard recording 31 points and nine rebounds in his first-ever playoff game. Lillard also ended the season with a place in the All-NBA Third Team.

In his third season, Lillard continued to perform very well as he averaged 21.0 points per game, 6.2 assists per game and 4.6 rebounds per game in 82 games. However, he only managed to average a career-low 34 percent from three-point range in an indifferent season. Despite these struggles, Lillard earned a call up as an injury replacement in the NBA All-Star Game. He also helped the Trail Blazers to book a place in the playoffs where they lost in the first round in 5 games against Memphis Grizzlies.

After extending his contract at Portland Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard went on to average 25.1 points per game, 4.0 rebounds per game and 6.8 assists per game in 75 games to help the Trail Blazers secure a spot in the playoffs once more in his fourth season. The Trail Blazers’ run ended at the hands of the Golden State Warriors in the second round.

The 2016-2017 season saw Lillard’s stock continue to rise as he averaged an impressive 27.0 points per game, 5.9 assists per game, and 4.9 rebounds per game in 75 games to help seal another playoffs appearance for his side. However, they crashed out in the first round after losing to the Golden State Warriors after four games.

In the 2017-2018 season, Lillard averaged 26.9 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game, and 6.6 assists per game in 73 appearances. That same season, Lillard earned a place in the All-NBA First Team for the third time. The Trail Blazers qualified for the playoffs at the end of the regular season but lost to the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round.

Last season, Lillard managed to average 25.8 points per game, 4.6 rebounds per game and 6.9 assists per game in 80 games. The numbers for averaged assists was his highest return in his career.

 

Damian Lillard’s statistics so far this season

This season has seen Lillard perform at the highest level once again. His tally for averaged points and assists has significantly risen. This season, Lillard has averaged 28.9 points per game and 7.8 assists per game. He has also averaged 4.3 rebounds per game, 1.0 steals per game, and 2.9 turnovers per game in the 58 games he has played so far this season. He was also selected for this year’s All-Star game until injury ruled him out of the match. Lillard also recorded a career-high 61 points in a win over Golden State Warriors earlier this year. He had scored 60 points against Brooklyn Nets earlier in the season.

 

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