The Blazers are riding high after eliminating the Rockets on last night’s incredible, last-second shot from second year point guard Damian Lillard. The Portland franchise, plagued with draft misfortunes and teams of promise that seem to always sink back to mediocrity, is reveling in actual playoff success behind Lillard, who Nicolas Batum deemed the city’s next Brandon Roy, per a tweet from Jason Quick of The Oregonian. Here’s a Western Conference roundup, including more from Rip City:
- Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities tweets that he thinks the Blazers are likely to pick up their team option for coach Terry Stotts now that Portland has advanced to the second round.
- Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee points out that Kings personnel mistakes from recent years are obvious when watching the Blazers thrive in the playoffs (via Twitter). Sacramento selected Thomas Robinson ahead of the buzzer-beating Lillard, and didn’t obtain Robin Lopez in a three-way trade with the Blazers and Pelicans that brought in Greivis Vasquez last summer.
- Voisin adds in another tweet that she’s heard the Kings passed on Lillard because they thought Isaiah Thomas, who they planned on snagging late in the draft, was equally talented. While Thomas was a great find, he hasn’t played at near the level of Lillard.