Take a look at this shot Damian Lillard put up during Wednesday night's victory against the Houston Rockets. He pulls up with ease at nearly half court. What is going on in Portland right now? Here are the CliffsNotes version of the Trailblazers' season so far: It's been a disappointment. Key players got injured and the team has lost more games than expected. But Damian Lillard has refused to let this be a "lost season." Over the past week and a half he's been playing out of his mind. He was just awarded western conference player of the week, averaging a ridiculous 52.7 points per game. He continued this hot streak against arch rivals, the Houston Rockets, on Wednesday night, recording his first career triple double with 36 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists. The 10th place Blazers notched an improbable victory against the 6th place team in the west, 125-112, and this shot shown above was just a small portion of Damian's highlight reel.
It was a great game for the Blazers. Sure, this season may yet turn out to be a bust, but this team is not going down without swinging, and Dame Lillard is leading the charge. There's still plenty of drama left to unfold. This game against Houston, for instance, featured the continuation of the very entertaining rivalry between Lillard and Russell Westbrook, along with providing Carmelo Anthony the chance to face the team that so cruelly cut him mid-season last year. Newly acquired wing Trevor Ariza also faced a Houston team that had let him go, and together the he and Anthony made mincemeat out of a normally formidable Rockets defense. Welcome to Portland, Trevor—you fit in well!
Look, watch the highlight video below and relive the glory. It was a good win in a season which hasn't had enough of those. It's too early to say this team has turned a corner, but it's also too early to count this team out. They may be making a playoff run yet. With injured players like Jusuf Nurkic and Zac Collins waiting in the wings, and team captain Damian Lillard breaking franchise records left and right, we may be still be in for some excitement in 2020.
And in the end, Dame and Russ, hugged it out: