'Great' Blazers get sweet victory
Once Trail Blazers forward Thomas Robinson finished reciting the song "Maison Margiela" by Future and imitating point guard Damian Lillard scurrying to the locker room after he shut down Moda Center, Robinson said something profound:
I believe in the law of attraction. I believe you have to stay positive and keep working; success is going to come.
That statement couldnt be more true for Lillard, whose game-winner Friday night instantaneously stood on the pantheon of all-time Blazers buzzer-beaters and produced Portland's 99-98 victory and 4-2 series win over the Houston Rockets the first playoff series victory for Rip City in 14 years.
Simply put, the law of attraction states that what one thinks, one becomes.
Lillards jaunt around the court, displaying his signature snarl while yelling out random "I told you so" remarks, might just be a microcosm of his unabashed, ready-for-the-moment mentality.
You guys know 'Dame'. He relishes the moment, Blazers guard Mo Williams said.
Before joining Lillard, who finished the game with 25 points, on the Blazers, Robinson didnt know what all the hype was about regarding Portlands starting point guard.
Seeing him play last year, I couldnt see it, Robinson said.
But, after being on the team, seeing him work he likes it. He lives for those moments, man, Robinson said.
Lillards signature ballad in his young career surpasses even that of Brandon Roys 30-foot 2008 game winner against the Rockets, in the eyes of Portland forward Nicolas Batum.
All the respect to 'B-Roy', this is No. 1," Batum said. "B-Roy moved to No. 2 now.
Batum says Lillards shot is the best because it fed a city that was starving for a playoff series victory into the second round.
We passed the first round with that shot Ive been here for six years, 'LA' (LaMarcus Aldridge) for eight," Batum said. "The city 14 years I would say its one of the best shots in Blazers history.
After less than a year playing with Lillard, Robinson now believes the backcourt leader is a once-in-a-generation player.
Youre not going to see nothing like him for a while, Robinson said.
As for Robinson, staying positive has helped him deal with an up-and-down first two NBA seasons.
He has been in multiple trades, multiple cities and multiple coaching staffs, one being Houstons.
That (beating Houston)," he said, "was sweeter than cake."
To help close out his former team, which traded the former No. 4 pick in the NBA draft, away for just a pair of second-round picks, Robinson played his best game of the series on Friday. He scored eight points, with an earth-shattering dunk and a strong offensive rebound and putback in the fourth quarter. Though he finished with only 14 points in the series, he was just happy to be in the rotation on a successful team.
All I try to do is be big for my team. My personal achievements will come later, Robinson said.
Robinson sees only positives in his situation.
Im winning on a great team, playing behind a legend, so Im going to embrace the moment, he said.
Houston forward Chandler Parsons had said Houston on Thursday that the Rockets were the better team.
The better team lost today, said Williams, mocking Parsons' comment.
Williams said because of Lillards dagger, he feels free to talk trash to the Rockets.
He gave me all kinds of ammunition, Williams said.
However, he added: Thats a good basketball team over there.
Blazers center Robin Lopez said veteran point guard Earl Watson has preached to the Blazers all season about maintaining their confidence.
Hes always told us you always got to believe, Lopez said.
The Blazers clearly think they have a good thing going.
We feel like were a great team," Batum said. "We can do something special."