Damian Lillard is the captain, lead scorer, and face of the Portland Trail Blazers franchise. But in an article today for HoopsHabit.com, Raymond Simms points out that the Blazers have fared well enough when injury has forced Lillard into street clothes, compiling an 8-8 record without their star guard. That .500 mark is not far shy of their .541 overall regular season record in Lillard’s 5.5 seasons with the team.
Obviously the sample size of games without Lillard is vanishingly small compared to the overall slate. Even Simms admits, “It’s hard to imagine the Blazers doing well over an extended period of time without Lillard.” But during short spurts, they’ve been able to carry on at about the same pace—hardly remarkable, but not a disaster either.