The Portland Trail Blazers had so many ups and downs during their 2013-2014 season but the highlights of this season will be remembered for a long time. With such a talented and youthful roster, you never quite knew what to expect on a nightly basis.
Winning only 33 games in the 2012-2013 season, the expectations weren’t set extremely high. Sitting here a few weeks removed from the season, it is clear that the Blazers far exceeded all expectations.
There are a lot of questions and concerns surrounding the off-season but for now, let’s go back and remember some of the highlights of this season that will be remembered for a long time. Following are my Top 10 highlights of the season, David Letterman style.
10– Offseason value trades for Thomas Robinson and Robin Lopez, finally acquiring a defensive minded big man.
9– The spirit of Rip City is alive and well. The atmosphere of the home playoff games was unlike anything I have ever experienced. The city rallied around the memory of Dr. Jack and the team playing basketball that Dr. Jack would be proud of.
8– Two triple-doubles by Nicolas Batum. November 2nd vs. San Antonio (11 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists) and January 8th at Orlando (14 points, 10 rebounds, 14 assists.)
7– Coach Terry Stotts’ birthday jacket tribute to the late Dr. Jack Ramsey.
6– The renewal of one of the fans’ favorite traditions— Rip City Drinking Glasses!
5– Two games of 20+ 3 pointers in a game. December 14th at Philadelphia (21) and January 2nd vs. Charlotte (21). This made them the first team in NBA history to make 20+ 3 pointers in a game, in the same season.
4– LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard becoming the first pair of Blazers to be named All-Stars in the same year since Clyde Drexler and Cliff Robinson in 1994. 20 years ago! Also Damian Lillard participating in EVERY event at All-Star Weekend.
3– LaMarcus Aldridge’s monster Game 1 and Game 2 in Houston in the First Round. 46 points and 18 rebounds in Game 1, followed by 43 points and 8 rebounds in Game 2.
2– Damian Lillard hitting game-winning shots in consecutive games in December, at Detroit on December 15th and at Cleveland on December 17th. Leading to this tweet from ESPN’s Bill Simmons, “I think Portland has played in like 6 or 7 of the best 12 games this season.”
1– Damian Lillard’s game-winning 3-pointer vs. Houston in Game 6 of the first round to lead the Blazers past the Rockets for their 1st playoff series victory in 14 years.
Up next for this team is the upcoming NBA Draft on June 26th in Brooklyn. As of right now, this team doesn’t have any draft picks, but knowing Paul Allen’s infatuation with the draft process I would not be surprised if they Blazers acquire a young talent to come into camp. Then it’s off the Summer League in the middle of July. It will be an exciting offseason for the Blazers but nowhere near as exciting as this season!