Portland Trail Blazers v Golden State Warriors

NBA Playoffs 2019: Damian Lillard reflects on Portland's 'special' 2018-19 season


Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers defied the odds and made a push into the Western Conference Finals when many had written them off.

TAKEAWAYS: Warriors complete sweep, head back to Finals

When Blazers big man Jusuf Nurkic went down with a severe leg injury, the Blazers hopes followed in the eyes of many.

But behind their point guard leader, they overcame the Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets before running into the Warriors' juggernaut.

Lillard praised the efforts from the entire roster throughout the season and believes things will only go from strength to strength after what they showed they're capable of.

"We showed that we're capable of being here and competing at this level," Lillard said.

"Looking at the season overall I think it was a special season for us. Coming off back-to-back sweeps and it's another sweep but you'd rather be swept in the Western Conference Finals than in the first round.

"I just think we look back at the season overall and the way we responded after a lot of people got on our cases, a lot of people came down on us and we got back to work.

"Each guy came back better individually and we put together a great season.

"We lose our owner, we dealt with injuries. Nurk out for the season, CJ missed a lot of games during a crucial stretch and we just kept answering the call.

"That takes a group to go from not playing minutes to stepping up and giving us good minutes. Trusting each other, leaning on each other, it takes a real group to be able to come together in those hard times on more than one occasion and I thought we did that.

"We put together a great season, we put ourselves in a position to go to the Finals. Every other team in the league would wish they could be in our shoes, not only making the playoffs but getting an opportunity to play for a chance to go to the Finals and we just ran up on a team who has been there the last four years.

"When it came time they were a player down and they executed. They were sharp, they did everything a level up from what we did. We can look back at it and see a lot of moments where guys stepped up to the plate from top to bottom and allowed this type of season to happen."

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