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NBA Portland Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard Proves His Amazing Value To Portland Trail Blazers

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard continues to be a productive player for the Portland Trail Blazers and one of the very best rookies in the NBA.

Unfortunately on Wednesday night, Lillard wasn’t a little more productive for this team.

The Trail Blazers took a tough 91-85 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on the road. This was a game the Trail Blazers maybe thought they could take from an outstanding Grizzlies team that was without leading rebounder Zach Randolph, who had a left ankle sprain.

Lillard continues to help give the Blazers a chance to win a game, which is maybe even more than any team should ask of a rookie. He scored 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting, and played a key role in helping the Trail Blazers build a 17-point lead in the third quarter.

Ultimately, he wasn’t able to hold back the Grizzlies and help the Trail Blazers get a badly-needed win as they keep trying to stay in the playoff hunt.

He put in 36 minutes of quality court time, shooting 8-of-16 from the guard spot (although only 2-of-6 from the floor) and also had four assists.

It’s probably not fair to expect so much for a rookie. But Lillard doesn’t seem to mind high expectations. When he doesn’t play like a rookie, which has been often, he’s giving the team quite a spark. He’s been doing his part to try getting the Blazers a playoff spot.

The Blazers are 10th in the NBA West standings and 3.5 games behind eighth-place Utah Jazz for that final playoff spot, but the Los Angeles Lakers are in ninth place, two games ahead of the Blazers.

Portland has lots of work left to get to the playoffs. They need Lillard to continue playing like a seasoned veteran.