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Damian Lillard’s January Makes NBA History

Jared Block
by in NBA,News on

I know that there’s been no shortage of crazy things happening in the past few weeks of the sports world, but it seems as if not enough people are caring about what Portland Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard has been doing in late January / early February. Over the weekend, Lillard became the first NBA player in history to make six or more three-pointers in six-straight games. While that’s incredibly impressive, it’s borderline insulting to think that stat is the most impressive thing that he’s done in the last month.

While most NBA fans already know that Dame is a perennial All-Star type player, he’s blown the roof off his own ceiling the past few weeks. Here’s a quick breakdown of Dame’s last 10 games…

  • 39 Minutes per game
  • 41.6 Points per game
  • 52.8% Field-Goal Percentage
  • 50.0% Three-Point Percentage
  • 87.9 Free-Throw Percentage
  • 9.3 Assists per game

If that wasn’t enough, here are his biggest three games from January:

  • 61 points against Golden State 1/20.
  • 50 points against Indiana 1/26.
  • 51 points against Utah 2/1.

He’s topped 50 points three times since January 20th … like, what?!?! On top of that, he hit nine three-pointers on Saturday night in Portland’s win over the Utah Jazz. Oh yeah, and if that wasn’t enough, Lillard has 49 threes total in the last six games.

Spacing has quite a bit to do with Dame’s recent success, as the newer acquisitions in Hassan Whiteside and Carmelo Anthony have given defenses other threats to worry about. In addition to the aforementioned players, the wings in Portland have been the true surprise. Guys like CJ McCollum, Gary Trent Jr. and Trevor Ariza have really stepped it up and have capitalized during Lillard’s recent spike. The immediate presence and fear that Damian Lillard strikes in opponents has allowed the Blazers to shoot from 48% on open-look threes in the past six games, which is by far league best in that span. Dame’s ability to create in any situation has also elevated his level of play. If the defense picks him up at half court, he’ll create space and shoot from beyond 35 feet. If they double-team him, he’ll just dish to a wide-open wing or a cutting Whiteside. If you allow him to drive, he’ll just blow past you, draw contact and go to the line. There’s really not a way to shut him down outside of hoping you outshoot the Blazers in a three-point contest. What Damian Lillard is doing right now is historic, but it may go tragically unnoticed.

Lillard will be featured multiple times during All-Star weekend, as he will be participating in both Saturday’s Three-Point Contest and Sunday’s game.

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