The 2017-18 season may have ended in disappointment for the Trail Blazers at the hands of the Pelicans, but that doesn’t negate the many highlights BlazerManiacs witnessed during the year. Let’s take a look back at the buzzer beaters, 50-point games, and 13-game winning streaks that helped push the team to 49 wins. Here are the top 10 plays of the season:
Dame Sinks the Lakers
Damian Lillard took his game to new heights this season, looking like a legitimate MVP candidate at times. He put together an array of daggers and heart breakers, but none was as dramatic as this game winner against the Lakers. Tick tock it’s Dame o’clock.
Aminu Steal and Stutter Step
Al-Farouq Aminu had the best season of his career, playing tight perimeter defense, knocking down 3-pointers and minimizing mistakes on offense. He found a confidence to make assertive moves without falling into the turnover pitfalls that characterized his play in the past. This play against the Jazz put that all together and ends with Aminu pulling off a ridiculous stutter step in the open court.
Shabazz Napier Breaks Some Ankles
It’s not up to par with CJ McCollum literally spinning Dirk Nowitzki around, but Shabazz Napier undressing Tyler Ennis is still pretty nice. And is there anything sweeter than the visiting crowd letting out a spontaneous “OHHHH”?
CJ Scores 50 in 29 Minutes
When CJ’s on fire he’s hard to stop. The Bulls defense witnessed a full-on conflagration at the end of January as McCollum torched them for 50 points in only 29 minutes. The only downside to this ridiculous explosion? Head Coach Terry Stotts pulled CJ with a quarter remaining and robbed him of a chance for 60 points.
Unwritten rules are iffy, at best, and players like David Robinson, David Thompson, Wilt Chamberlain, Devin Booker, and others have run up their scores on hot nights to chase records. Next time CJ gets that hot, I hope he gets a chance to make some franchise history.
Dame Scores 50 in 29 Minutes
Less than two weeks after CJ’s career night, Dame decided to try and one-up his friend. When the dust settled, the Blazers became the only team in NBA history to have two guys score 50 points and play less than 30 minutes in a game. This was straight out of the Larry Bird vs. Kevin McHale playbook.
Phys Ed Posterizes Joel Embiid
Much like Chief Aminu, Ed Davis took his game to new heights this season, re-defining the garbage man role that past players like Michael Cage and Charles Oakley created. On this play, he posterizes the up-and-coming Joel Embiid. Respect these years, young guy.
Pat Connaughton Can Get Up
After spending much of his career on the bench, Pat Connaughton played all 82 games for the Blazers this year. His 3-point shooting brought some floor spacing, but his back cuts brought the highlights.
Harkless With the Monster Block
Remember when the Blazers supposedly considered facilitating a Carmelo to the Rockets trade by swapping Maurice Harkless and Meyers Leonard for Ryan Anderson? On the one hand, that trade might have derailed the Rockets. On the other hand, this block never would have happened.
Zach Collins is a Badass Mother Who Won’t Take No Crap Off of Nobody
Terry Stotts With the Assist
Stotts is good. Don’t fire him.