It’s not that Lillard is playing poorly but he’s shot under his average the last four games. But give the NBA Rookie of the Year candidate some credit. He’s averaging 18.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game. So when he scored 11 as he did the other night and 17, 17 and 15 the previous three games, it’s not that he’s slumping. He’s still playing well. But it looks like the long 82-game season might be slowly wearing on him.
The other factor is that at 33-43, the Trail Blazers have taken themselves out of the playoff chase. Lillard was playing very well and trying so hard to get his team into the postseason. The fans deserved to see this outstanding rookie for at least four more games before the season ended. But it just wasn’t meant to be.
Friday against the Houston Rockets, the Blazers had a lackluster effort. Lillard had one of his poorest games in a month. He was 4-of-12 from the floor, 1-of-2 in three-pointers and 2-of-3 from the charity stripe in 40 minutes of action for 11 points. He dished out seven assists and had two steals, so his floor game was still solid. In his two 17-point games before that, Lillard seemed somewhat tired although he still played decent. He was 8-of-19 from the floor, but was 1-of-6 in three-pointers in 41 minutes of action in a 94-76 loss against the Memphis Grizzlies. He had six assists.
Lillard was 7-of-16 when he scored 17 points against the Utah Jazz.
His shooting percentage seems off right now. He’s at 43 percent from the floor and 37.2 from the three-point arc. But those numbers are down.
Hopefully, Lillard can show a little more of what he’s done all season before it ends. He’s had a great year and deserves to end it on a high note.