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Recognizing Damian Lillard’s Record-Breaking Shooting Performance

Damian Lillard takes home Mom’s Favorite honors this week for his superb outing against the Magic.

NBA: Orlando Magic at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Each week, Team Mom highlights her favorites plays, players and other things that made the Trail Blazers fun to watch. Who is Mom’s Favorite this week? Did anyone get put in the dog house? What were your favorite things this week? Let us know in the comments below.

Week 6: November 25-December 1. Clippers (L), Magic (W), Nuggets (L)

Mom’s Favorite:

After a miserable shooting night against the Los Angeles Clippers in which he went 3-13 from beyond the arc, Damian Lillard bounced back in a big way against the Orlando Magic. Lillard set a new single-game franchise record of 10 made 3-pointers. Seven of those triples came in the third quarter, which is another franchise record. Here are all 10 of his 3-pointers:

Gold Star: Al-Farouq Aminu’s free throw shooting

Over the last three games the Blazers have shot 73 percent from the free throw line. This is well below their season average of 81.9 percent. In fact, until the game against the Nuggets, the Blazers led the league in free throw percentage.

The Blazers missed 8 of their last 10 free throws against the Magic. CJ McCollum and Evan Turner combined to go 0-6 from the charity stripe during that stretch. Portland’s big lead allowed them to hold on for the win, but a drop of nine percent in free throw accuracy over the past week is an alarming trend.

Here is how the players who average at least two free throw attempts per game fared this week. Along with the figures from this past week, their overall free throw percentage for the season is included for comparison.

Trail Blazers Free Throws Week of November 25, 2018

Player FT-FTA 11/25-12/1 FT% 11/25-12/1 FT% 2018-19
Player FT-FTA 11/25-12/1 FT% 11/25-12/1 FT% 2018-19
Al-Farouq Aminu 6-6 100 87.5
C.J. McCollum 7-9 77.8 82.4
Jusuf Nurkic 10-13 76.9 75.7
Damian Lillard 8-11 72.7 89
Meyers Leonard 4-7 57.1 82.6
Evan Turner 3-9 33.3 58.3

Evan Turner and Meyers Leonard struggled the most. Jusuf Nurkic was slightly above his season average, which is great since he had the highest volume this week. Only Aminu made all his free throws this week.

Aminu has been much maligned these past few week for his struggles from beyond the arc. It is true that his 3-point shooting has been wildly inconsistent this season—bottoming out at 0-9 against Milwaukee on November 21. However, even when he is struggling from the field, he is able to keep his composure at the line. He’s had 12 games where he was 100 percent and only 4 games where he missed any free free throws at all. He doesn’t take a lot of free throws, but he was dependable this last week.

Honorable Mentions

Bounce passes between two defenders are fun! On the latest Blazers’ Edge podcast, I said that I enjoyed bounce passes through two defenders. It’s something we see fairly regularly at the beginning of a game.

Here are some examples from this week:

Dan Marang disagreed with me and he finds these types of plays nerve wracking. His point is that bounce passes can be erratic and end up either too low, or they hit a big man in the chin. His preference would be for the players initiating such plays to go over the defenders rather than bouncing through them. That doesn’t mean I’m going to enjoy this play any less.

Bone-crushing screens that lead to points! The Blazers have two players among the top 10 in screen assist points generated. Nurkic and Leonard combined for a total of 75 points created off their screen assists this week.

This screen set by Leonard will be felt by Jerian Grant’s great grandchildren. (Sorry about the video quality. The clip on didn’t include the initial screen by Collins or show the full, slow fall to the court.)

This young man who blew everyone away with his enthusiastic dancing at the Moda Center on Friday night:

Photo of the week: Damian Lillard caught the eye of a young fan during the singing of the National Anthem. Sean Michael Meagher recognized a special moment when he saw it:

Dog House: Not getting a win on coach’s birthday

Players, colleagues and fans posted heartfelt messages to coch Terry Stotts on Sunday, wishing him a happy 61st birthday. The one thing he didn’t get? A win. Come on guys.

That’s it for this edition of Mom’s Favorites. Who or what were your favorite things this week? Let us know in the comments below!