Photo from damianlillard/Instagram
It’s ok to feel any way you want to after yesterday’s game 4 defeat to the Denver Nuggets. If you’re mad, that’s ok, if you’re sad, still fine. Pissed off, I get it. I’m personally optimistic. This is a good to great Nuggets team that has proven in these playoffs they’re not to be taken lightly. Nikola Jokic is a problem not just for the Trail Blazers. Jamal Murray is for real and much like the letter O, His team goes as he does. Paul Millsap just continues to hit timely shots and reminds all of us, he’s been here before. The only true playoff tested starter on this Nuggets team. I just don’t think that matters. The letter O, I mentioned him? The Trail Blazers go where he takes them. Throughout this series Damian Lillard has been crafty, patient and aggressive all at the same time. “I think when you see the defense coming at you that aggressively... you’ve got to identify with what they’re trying to do. What you think they’re trying to do, and try and make them pay for it, try to attack them with the pass.” Lillard said after the game 4 defeat. He’s breaking down the Denver defense and their point of emphasis starts with shutting him down. In Game 4, Lillard finished with 28 points on 9-22 shooting from the field, which is pretty good. He also missed a late free throw attempt with about 20 seconds to go in the 4th quarter.
It would have made it a one point game.
If there is any reason for optimism, it’s that Damian Lillard has taken everything head on from the start of his career and on Tuesday he faces his next hurdle. Stealing game five in Denver and giving his Blazers a chance to close out this best of seven series in Portland on Thursday, which would advance the Trail Blazers to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since the year 2000. This Trail Blazer team has already done well beyond what Vegas expected from them and went on to win a series they were expected to lose. I’m not saying we should be happy with just getting out of the first round, but this team continues to progress and it starts with Dame. This story doesn’t have any flashy numbers or convincing video clips as to why he’s going to come ready. It doesn’t need it. He’s already proven. Just when you think the chips are down, never count him out. So come Tuesday, he’ll be ready and so will the rest of the Trail Blazers, that’s what they do. Will you be ready Rip City? Tip off for Tuesday’s game 5 matchup is scheduled for 7:30 on TNT. If you are in Portland looking for a place to watch the game, Blazer Gang will continue to be hosting a viewing party at the Aladdin Theater. Doors will open an hour before tipoff. There will be prizes, trivia, giveaways and more. Come cheer on your Trail Blazers with other Rip City enthusiasts while the Trail Blazers attempt to steal another game on the road.