Portland Trailblazers’ performance promising, represents quality of Northwest sportsmanship
The Pacific Northwest has a rich but small history in sports. After the Seattle Supersonics left for Oklahoma City in 2008, Northwest sports fans had little in the way of quality basketball to support.
The largest outlet for this thirst has been the Portland Trailblazers, and it looks as if folks in the Northwest will have much to cheer for as the Blazers boast a 17-3 record on the season so far and have spent the last week, after their 130-98 win against the Utah Jazz, at number one in the Western Conference of the NBA.
The Blazers have a tendency in recent years to stay out of the limelight in the sports world, which largely comes from the humble nature of the team’s leaders. LaMarcus Aldridge leads this team by strong example; he had 38 points and 15 rebounds in Portland’s recent win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. According to the official NBA MVP standings, Aldridge jumped four spots recently from 10th to 6th place.
The other strong influence is second year player Damian Lillard. The unanimous 2013 rookie of the year, Lillard burst onto the Blazers’ roster last year boasting a healthy 19 points per game.
With four years of college under his belt at Weber State, Lillard’s humble attitude makes for a great talent to watch in the 2013-2014 season that is only 20 games old.
In his rookie of the year interview, Lillard claims that the main drive for him to do well was the warmth and acceptance of the fans in his first year.
“I feel like I owed it to them to come out and give it my best and embrace them the same way they embraced me,” Lillard said.
The Blazers broke the NBA record for three-point shooting percentage (with at least 15 three-point attempts) on Friday, Dec. 6th.
Collectively, the Blazers made 17 of 23 three-point shots attempted, which makes their three-point shooting percentage on that night 73.9 percent.
This type of performance is becoming commonplace for the Blazers as they boasted an early winning streak of 11 games. In a recent interview, Lillard attributed the recent level of performance of the Blazers to the leadership off the court, specifically coming from the experienced players Mo Williams, Earl Watson and Dorell Wright that the Blazers added over the summer.
There are a few reasons why this team is truly a Pacific Northwest team. Creativity is important to the Blazers roster; Lillard has been known to write his own raps and even sent one in to the GameTime show and spoke in an interview with the show about possibly producing an album of his own.
This is a simple one: the Blazers are located in Portland.
There is not a city that more exemplifies the attitude and culture of the Northwest than Portland.
Full of food carts and the ever-popular Voodoo Doughnuts, Portland is a great place to enjoy a game and it is only a quick two hours down I-5.
If you want to watch the Blazers in action, their next game is vs. the 76ers on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 5 p.m.
This should be a good game, being that both teams are pretty high in the standings so far this season.