Damian Lillard is leading the Portland Trail Blazers with late-game heroics and earning national praise, even MVP chatter, along the way. Portland’s current nine-game win streak is the longest in the NBA — with Lillard being the focal point — and people are taking notice. But Andrew Sharp and Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated ask: should Lillard’s play be a bigger deal to the national NBA audience? Why isn’t there a “Lillardsanity”? SI provided a transcript of their conversation from the Open Floor podcast:
Sharp: I have three thoughts on the Blazers. Number one, this is something you elitists from the Western Conference allege fairly often that there is an east coast bias. I really do think east coast bias is real when it comes to Damian Lillard because if he were having the last couple weeks he had in Boston, or New York or any major market in the east coast people would be losing their mind. There have been a couple games where he has gone nuts down the stretch and it’s been so awesome. It’s not nearly big of a story that it should be.
Golliver: Yea you guys would have books called “Lillardsanity” or something silly like that.
Sharp’s other thoughts about the Blazers include them being the type of third seed to lose in the first round and a general appreciation of Pat Connaughton’s growth this season.
Should Lillard’s play be a bigger deal around the league, or has he gotten his deserved praise? Would the praise amplify if he was on an Eastern Conference team? Let us know in the comments.