What about Dominique Wilkins? He was the Human Highlight Film, but was he a superstar? Can one be a superstar and never reach the Conference Finals? (Team sport, I know.) The discussion makes for a spirited debate, and there’s no right or wrong answer.
What about Damian Lillard?
He’s an All-Star, had a memorable, clutch, playoff moment, and in four years went from Weber State to 25-point scorer nightly in the NBA.
Not yet. After hitting a 3-pointer to end the 3rd quarter in Game 2, putting the Blazers up 87-76 on the road, Lillard didn’t score again.
In fact, Lillard was a meek 0-for-3 in the 4th quarter. How does that happen? If he’s 1-for-10 and struggles, that’s fine – it happens. (See Michael Jordan at the end of a collapse for the Bulls in the playoffs against Orlando.) But to only take three shots as your team is blowing an 11-point lead on the road?
It’s not only on Lillard, obviously – the coaches have to get their superstar open, have to run plays for them, need to get them the ball. At a minimum, you want the ball in Lillard’s hands, creating offense (one assist in the 4th quarter) Either way, it’s completely unacceptable to have 25 points through three quarters … and end with 25 points.
This means, of course, Lillard will drop 47 and the Blazers will thump the Warriors in Game 3 at home, right? [Shot Chart via JT]