Damian Lillard was determined from the get-go. “We didn’t come here to play.” He sure was right. Contending for the West’s 8th seed was no joke for Dame and his team.
The Restart is now over!
What a two-week Restart! What a finish particularly for Dame and the Trailblazers?! Of the 22 teams that competed in the NBA Restart, 6 teams were sent back home. All 22 teams played, in my opinion, better than they did during regular season and before the shutdown, with the exception of two, maybe three, teams. The competition was fierce but the determination to qualify for playoff was fiercer.
A few offsets and surprises made me wonder what was going on in/around Camp Florida. But, as we always say, it’s all well that ends well.
As I earlier blogged, and stated to watch out for Dame/Trailblazers, he and his team did not disappoint and probably surprised noone other than their opponent, the Grizzlies! They played their hearts out and, fought to finish, for that 8th seed. Dame is definitely an indefatigable leader. No wonder he was unanimously selected for the Kia Player of the Seeding Game. He obviously couldn’t have done it without the equally indefatigable teammates, McCollum and Nurkic; who despite injury and death in the family respectively, were equally as determined to qualify.
I salute their tenacity. Congratulations to Dame and the Portland Trailblazers.
Here’s hoping the energy will continue to flow unhindered by any force of sickness or injury as they face the LA Lakers on Tuesday, August 18, for Round 1 of the 2019-20 Playoff.
Honorable mention is due to the Rookie, Ja Morant. He’s sure on his way for the bigger and better. Here’s hoping that he wins the Rookie Award, which could have been a difficult choice to make had Zion W. played as expected in the Restart. Zion’s efforts, or lack thereof, makes the award an easier one to choose.
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Below is the Round 1 Playoff schedule.
I’m excited for the 16 teams and look forward to more intense energy. We wish all players and coaches the very best competing for the race to the NBA 2019-20 Championship.