Is Damian Lillard’s series-winning shot against Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2019 NBA Playoffs the Moment of the Decade for the Portland Trail Blazers? Dan Favale of Bleacher Report polled local experts for each of the 30 NBA teams to determine the ultimate franchise moment from the last 10 years. The Shot topped the heap for Portland.
Blazer’s Edge expert Team Mom helped Favale explain why that moment, in particular, stood out over the series winner against the Houston Rockets in 2014.
She cited macro reasons:
the OKC shot, to me anyway, that represented all that Lillard had become. Between the Houston shot and the OKC shot, Lillard lost Aldridge as a teammate, he endured nonstop commentary about how the team needs to do this, the team need to do that, he’s not tall enough, they can’t attract a free agent, he and CJ can’t exist together. He became a father. He got absolutely eaten alive by New Orleans. And then, when things were finally clicking on all cylinders, Jusuf Nurkic went down.
Also context-specific reasons:
[Lillard] was hitting those crazy long shots that whole series...
...He went from seeing an opportunity out of a broken play on Houston to manufacturing the whole storybook ending vs OKC.
”The Houston shot opened the Lillard era, but the OKC shot defined it.”
Besides the two huge shots, Favale offered other possibilities for big Portland moments:
Additional nominations can be thrown to Brandon Roy spearheading the comeback from a 23-point deficit in Game 4 of the first round of the 2011 postseason; Andre Miller’s 52-point party in 2010; the Gerald Wallace trade that led to the Lillard draft selection; Matthews’ Achilles injury; and Aldridge’s departure.
There’s more in the article about Lillard’s shot, plus the big moments for all 29 other franchises.