Unshakened of the agonizing defeats and uncertainty of their season, the loyal, franchise hero in Damian Lillard remains bold in his intent to continue the fight for the Portland Trail Blazers.
After a failed, yet encouraging comeback effort by his Blazers against the title powerhouse Boston Celtics, 126-112, the All-Star guard took a reference from the match and provided a strong statement for his franchise that has been sinking so far with the playoff scene getting nearer this 2022-23 season.
“Even when it seems like it’s out of reach, I’m going to go out there and compete and I’m going to try to make something happen regardless of how realistic or unrealistic it is and live with the results,” Lillard said in his postgame presser after chalking up a game-high 41 points on the losing effort.
These words by Lillard can’t be more pressure, yet igniting for his Portland troop, but their odds to appear in the playoffs have grown imposing against them with 12 games left to their season.
Leaving Friday night disappointed, the Trail Blazers do occupy the 13th seed of the West with a 31-39 record. By looking at the standings, they are 2.5 games behind the current tenth-placers Los Angeles Lakers (34-37), who are filling the last spot of the Conference’s Play-In tilt.
Their loss against Boston extended their depressing losing skid to five. What’s even more challenging for them up next is that they are slated to face 11 of their remaining 12 matchups opposing fellow playoff hopefuls in the West.
The future Hall of Famer has been tallying at least 20 points in 30 straight games – the longest streak of his career, and the longest current streak in the NBA this season – but these overwhelming efforts of his are yet to get paid off with the postseason door for Portland slowly closing.
Though there are plenty of murmurs that he might be shut down by the Blazers should they continue to struggle moving forward, it seems that the fire is still alive and burning for Lillard to guide his team until the end.