For Lillard, moving up the Blazers’ all-time record books is nothing new - last season he moved into first place on the team’s 3-point field goals list, despite having played only four seasons in Portland.
Lillard, however, is not the only Blazer approaching statistical franchise achievements. Check out the list of milestones that five Blazers might be able to hit this year:
Points per game: Lillard is currently sitting at fourth in career points per game with 21.4. Geoff Petrie (21.8), Sidney Wicks (22.3), and Kiki VanDeWeghe (23.5) currently lead Lillard. Dame is a near shoo-in to pass Petrie, needing to average around 24 points per game this season to move up to third, and can also move past Wicks by averaging about 25.7 points this season. Passing VanDeWeghe to move into first is less likely, but not impossible - Lillard will need over 31 per game.
Lillard could also move into first place for points per game in a single season. He averaged 25.1 last year, fourth all-time, and will need to finish with 27.3 per game to pass Clyde Drexler and VanDeWeghe to move into first.
Verdict: Expect Lillard to finish the season very close to second place in points per game (career) for the Blazers. He also will challenge for the team’s single season per-game scoring average record.
Assists: As mentioned above, Lillard already passed Paxon to move to No. 6 with 2013 career assists. He needs 44 more to tie Geoff Petrie’s career mark and has a chance to move past Rod Strickland to No. 4 if he averages a career-high 7.5ish per game.
Verdict: Lillard will pass Petrie later this month. He has an outside chance of passing Strickland, but it’s not likely to happen until next season.
Turnovers: Lillard has 904 right now, and will move to No. 10 on the Blazers career leaders list (Paxson again!) when he hits 1006. From there, he is likely to jump all the way up to No. 6 this season - Damon Stoudamire is currently in that spot with 1089.
Verdict: For better or worse, Lillard will be No. 6 on the career turnovers list by the end of the season. He’ll pass Paxson before the All-Star break and will move past Stoudamire around the 70th game.
3-point field goals: McCollum will be setting his sights on Clifford Robinson and Steve Blake, who are tied at No. 6 with 492. McCollum has 284 and hit 197 last season. If he hits the same number this season he’ll be virtually tied with Robinson and Blake.
Verdict: McCollum’s scoring opportunities are not likely to dry up this season and, based on Tuesday’s game, his jump shot has not deserted him. Expect McCollum to pass Robinson and Blake during the last couple weeks of the season.
4,000/600/700: If McCollum continues his pace from last season, he will finish the year as only the 25th Blazer with more than 4,000 career points, 600 career rebounds, and 700 career assists. Impressive for a player who is, essentially, in his second complete season.
Triple-Double: Plumlee made it clear during the preseason that he wanted to collect a triple-double this season. Fans saw last year in the playoffs against the Clippers that Plumlee is among the best distributing centers in the league, and also a competent rebounder. Add in a newly developed midrange jumper, and it seems possible that Plumlee will accomplish his goal.
If Plumlee can get the elusive triple-double, he’ll become the first Portland center since Mychal Thompson in 1984 to pull it off.
50/40/90: Two seasons ago, Leonard finished the year averaging better than 50 percent field goal shooting, 40 percent 3-point shooting, and 90 percent free throw shooting. Unfortunately, he did not have enough shot attempts to qualify for the NBA season leaderboards so he did not officially join Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Durant, and Stephen as active players in the 50/40/90 club.
Verdict: Leonard may have a real chance this season. After a rough start last year, he shot 42 percent from 3 for the months of January - March before succumbing to a shoulder inury. If he stays healthy this year, and finds a spot in the rotation as his fitness improves, he will have a chance. Leonard’s biggest barrier will be free throws: he’ll need to average about 1.5 free throw makes per game after averaging only 0.6 last season.
Field goal percentage: The Blazers single-season record for field goal percentage is 60.4 percent, set by Buck Williams in 1992. Davis shot 61.1 percent last year but, like Leonard, did not have enough field goals to officially qualify.
Verdict: Davis will probably shoot around 60 percent again this year, but he made only 206 field goals in 81 games last year. With his role in the Blazers’ offense virtually unchanged, and Noah Vonleh waiting in the wings, it seems unlikely that Davis will up his field goal output enough to dethrone Buck.
Games played: Ezeli has appeared in only 92 games over the last three NBA seasons. That’s more than Greg Oden...but not by much. His statistical goal this year will be to play 60 or more games for the first time since his rookie year.
Winning percentage: Thanks to some down years in Milwaukee and Atlanta, Terry Stotts’ career winning percentage as a head coach currently sits at 48.7. If the Blazers finish the season 16 games over .500, Stotts will move up to 50 percent.
Verdict: The Blazers will need to win 49 games for this to happen - that’s very possible, if not likely. Coincidentally, it’s also the same number of wins the team had in 1977.
Readers - What statistical milestones do you have your eyes on this season? Let us know in the comments!
Eric Griffith | GoBlazers87@gmail.com | @DeeringTornado