Is Damian Lillard Going To Regret Picking The Trail Blazers To Beat The Warriors In 6 Games?
Damian Lillard doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would back down from, well, anyone. So when he was asked point-blank to pick whether or not the Trail Blazers will beat the Warriors in their first-round playoff series in six games or seven games on Wednesday night, we weren’t surprised at all when he answered the question by saying “Blazers in six.” Other players may have gone the PC route and said something like, “We’re just going to go out and try our best and see what happens.” But Lillard doesn’t seem to be bothered by the fact that the Blazers are heavy underdogs as the eight seed in the Western Conference. He is confident that his team can hang with the Warriors.
The problem is that Portland hasn’t had much success when playing against the Warriors this season. They lost all four of their games against Golden State, and only one of the games was close. The Warriors only won by two points back in January, but on average, they beat the Blazers by almost 20 points in their four contests. They’re also playing some of their best basketball of the season and just inserted Kevin Durant back into the lineup after he suffered a knee injury earlier this season. So doesn’t it seem weird to hear Lillard essentially calling them out and confidently stating that he thinks the Blazers have not just a chance but a good chance to win the series?
Whatever the case, he’s sticking to his story. “We’re not going into the playoffs saying, ‘Hey, we made it, let’s bow out gracefully and be happy with what we did,’” he said. “We’re going in there to take a swing. We’re coming in there to try and shock the world.”
It would be shocking if the eight seed beat the one seed this season, but it wouldn’t be completely unprecedented. Back in 2007, the Warriors were the eight when they knocked off the top-seeded Mavericks, who had the same exact record (67-15) that the Warriors have this season. But ESPN estimates that the Blazers have just a 1 percent chance to win the series this season, and barring one or two catastrophic injuries on the Golden State side, we just can’t see Portland standing much of a chance.
You can’t blame Lillard for sticking up for his team and showing faith in them. It’s just who he is and how he rolls. But Portland will need nothing short of a miracle to beat the Warriors, and even then, they might come up painfully short in their quest to move past one of the best NBA teams that has ever been assembled.