Mike Tirico: "Nine-tenths left, a three wins the series. It's Lillard! He got the shot off!
GOOD! GOOD! AND THE BLAZERS WIN THE SERIES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN
If you ask me, the Blazers national perception changed after that shot.
Before that shot, the Blazers hadn't made it out of the first round of the playoffs since
2000. Before that shot, the Blazers didn't have a household name. Before that shot, the
Blazers didn't have a moment.
In a much broader sense, Damian Lillard changed the national perception of the
In 2013, LaMarcus Aldridge averaged 21.1 points per game and a career-high 9.1
rebounds per game -- his best season to date, and among the best seasons of any power
forward in the league. In the 2013 NBA GM Survey, Aldridge received the fourth most
votes in the category of "Best Power Forward" -- 6.9%.
In 2014, Aldridge averaged 23.2 points per game and 11.1 rebounds per game. In this
year's NBA GM Survey, Aldridge, along with Blake Griffin, received the most votes of
any power forward in the category of "Best Power Forward" -- 25%.
Aldridge had a monster year in 2013, but the idea of him being the best power forward in
the league seemed a bit far-fetched. Heading into this year, it's all but the consensus
among NBA general managers where Aldridge ranks amongst his low post peers. In fact,
the Aldridge "best power forward" debate has even picked up some steam within the
So what changed? Why such a drastic shift in recognition and acknowledgement?
Heading into the 2013-2014 NBA Season, the Blazers were granted six nationally
televised games (ESPN, TNT, ABC).
This season, 16.
The 2012-2013 median resale price for a Blazers ticket was $87.79. Last season's median
resale ticket price was $92.78.
This season? $111.66. A 20% increase from last year, and a 27% increase from two years
It could be a lot of different things, it could be a few singular things, but if you ask me,
the increased recognition for Aldridge, the increase in ticket prices, the increase in
nationally televised games -- it's because of Lillard.
He's a star in the making and he's shining a light on everything around him (god that
-- Scott Horlbeck