Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard appears to have found his footing

Damian Lillard has found his footing and the Portland Trail Blazers have jumped up the West standings. 

The Portland Trail Blazers got off one of the most confusing starts in the NBA. And a big reason why was the less than stellar start from Damian Lillard. The perennial all-star got off to one of his worst starts to his career and the team as a whole reflected his struggles in the win-loss column.

During the team’s first eight games, the Blazers were 3-5 and Lillard was struggling mightily with his shooting numbers. Over that span, Lillard was averaging 19.5 points on 35 percent shooting from the field and 23 percent shooting from 3-point range.

There was concern all-around from the team’s performance overall to Lillard individually. Instead of taking a step back this season, it seemed as if the Blazers were taking a big step back. And if Lillard was going to play below his normal average, Portland was not going to have a shot to recover.

However, as Lillard has played better over the last handful of games, a winning streak by the Blazers has also, predictably, broken out.

Lillard has played significantly better over his last eight games played. Over that stretch, he’s averaging 26 points, seven assists, and four rebounds per game on 47 percent shooting from the field and 41 percent shooting from 3-point range.

In those games, the Blazers are 6-2. Overall, the Blazers have won four-straight games and are now tied for fifth in the Western Conference with a 10-8 record.

If it wasn’t clear before, it’s becoming evident that the Blazers are only going to go as far as Lillard can take them this season. And after a slow start, Lillard has recovered from a (personally) historically bad start.

Lillard has seemed to found his footing and the Blazers are now reaping the benefits of that. Just when it seemed as if the Blazers had become an afterthought in the Western Conference at the beginning of the season, it seems as if both Lillard and the Blazers have recovered and will indeed be a factor this season.