Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard led Blazers lineup combination is outproducing lofty James Harden, Kevin Durant Nets unit

Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers have accomplished a lot of impressive things this season considering their circumstances.

Though two of their three best players, CJ McCollum (foot) and Jusuf Nurkic (wrist) have missed considerable time with injuries, the Blazers have compiled a winning 18-13 record. As of this writing, they are the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference.

Additionally, Lillard is putting together an MVP-type campaign. He is fourth in the league in scoring (29.6 PPG) and ranks eighth in the league in assists per game (8.0). He may have been an All-Star starter snub, but there's no denying how good he's been this year.

That said, one of the most impressive stats of all is how good the Blazers have been on offense even without McCollum and Nurkic available. Their offensive efficiency of 113 ranks eighth-best in the NBA and one of their five-man lineup combinations is truly elite on that side of the ball.

Just how good is it? Well, according to Michael Pina of Sports Illustrated, one Lillard-led lineup is outproducing a notable five-man combination of the Brooklyn Nets that features Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving.

Blazing hot

Lillard-Trent-Jones-Covington-Kanter offensive rating
Harden-Irving-Harris-Durant-Green offensive rating

This is extremely impressive and it speaks to a few things.

First, and most obviously, the excellence of Lillard, whose performance we've already discussed at length. Second, the emergence of Gary Trent Jr., who is averaging a career-high 15.3 points per game and is shooting 42.8 percent from 3-point range, as a big-time offensive player.


And finally, the way the team's frontcourt players have played complimentary basketball around their stellar backcourt mates has provided a huge boost to this lineup and the Blazers.

And it's notable that the sample size for this unit isn't small. They've played 275 possessions together while the Nets five have played just 151. So, if this trend can continue with the Blazers' lineup, they will have at least one unit that packs a powerful offensive punch and can generate instant offense.

No matter what, it's an impressive stat and is yet another highlight from a strong first half for the Trail Blazers. Hopefully soon, we'll see what the Blazers offense looks like with McCollum and Nurkic back on the court.