The Portland Trail Blazers got blown out in Oakland on Tuesday, falling to the Golden State Warriors by a score of 116-94. Rip City's stars failed to bring their A-game which begs the question: is Damian Lillard finally running out of steam?
The four-time All-Star point guard scored 19 points to go along with 4 rebounds and 6 assists in the first game of the series. This may seem like a solid game on the surface, but Lillard also committed 7 turnovers; that's far too many if he isn't going to score in bunches. He also only converted four of his 12 field goal attempts on the night. Dame Dolla is just not quite himself, raising the possibility that Portland's previous seven-game series against the Nuggets simply drained him.
"We had too many moments where we had slip-ups defensively, 20 turnovers that led to over 30 points, and you can't allow that. If you allow that against this team, especially on the road, you're going to have a slim chance to win." - Dame pic.twitter.com/ny4mOHxGgw— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) May 15, 2019
This is not the Dame we are used to seeing. Over the course of the 2019 playoffs, he's averaged 27.7 points on 42.6 percent shooting. A top performer this postseason, Lillard is usually the epitome of the word "clutch." Even dating back to the business end of the Nuggets series, he simply hasn't had his best stuff.
Damian Lillard has made just five buckets in the restricted area over the last four playoff games. That’s part of a very strange trend. https://t.co/ILR5u5KP0T— Dane Delgado (@danegado) May 15, 2019
This uncharacteristic display could be explained through one simple factor: fatigue. The physical exertion involved with gameplay is causing his body to start breaking down and making him less effective on the floor. The 2018 All-NBA First Team honoree also noted that he was experiencing some discomfort in his hamstring following Game 1, a detail that doesn't bode well for this team going forward.
Damian Lillard says his hamstring is “a little bit sore.” He thinks he took a knee to it last night, so it’s not a strain.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) May 15, 2019
Dame has never made it this far in the playoffs during his career, and this increased workload could be starting to take its toll. Tonight's matchup could be Dame's last chance to prove to the NBA universe that it really can be Dame Time once again-- and that the two-time defending champs galloping to another title is something less than inevitable.