Damian Lillard put on a spectacular show on Tuesday night.
Shot after shot, bucket after bucket, Lillard proved to be unstoppable in Game 5 against the Nuggets.
Lillard's performance was like nothing we had ever seen before, and that's because we hadn't.
Lillard ended the night with 55 points and 10 assists, the first 55-10 game in NBA playoff history. He also hit an NBA playoff record 12 three-pointers. To call the night historic might be an understatement.
But like Lillard said post-game, none of it matters. The Blazers dropped the game in double-overtime and fell into a 3-2 hole in their first-round series against Denver.
Despite the loss, all eyes of the NBA world were fixated on Dame all night.
On Wednesday morning, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith gave us his two cents.
"I’ve seen Jordan drop 63 at the Garden. I’ve seen Kobe drop 81. I’ve seen Devin Booker drop 70… I’ve seen LeBron and Kobe drop 60. I’ve great performance from Dwyane Wade. But this brother, Damian Lillard, oh my God."
The praise didn't end there but like always the conversation would turn to getting Dame out of Portland.
“I’m sad at his supporting cast, I’m sad at his coach and I’m sad at the market he’s playing in," said Smith. "I’d give anything to see him playing in a market like New York City.”
Now, before fans get too up in arms, this is a good thing. Why? It's a testament to Dame's greatness. It shows you just how good Damian Lillard is. Smith is a New York guy. He was born in New York and is a noted Knicks fan. The fact he wants one of the best players in the league to play for his favorite team is not shocking.
In fact, even before last night, there were 29 other teams that would love to have Dame on their roster. It's understandable.
However, this idea that seems to be thrown around that market size hampers Dame is tired. The league is more than the Knicks and the Lakers and San Antonio's market size didn't seem to be an issue when they created a dynasty in Texas.
There is no doubt that Tuesday night proved the Blazers do need to do a better job building around Dame. Said Smith, “In the end, Damian Lillard was the best player on the court last night. The difference is, Jokic had help and Damian Lillard didn’t."
That should be Portland's focus whether they bounce back and win this series or not - Build around Lillard at all costs. Get him some true help and give him every reason to stay, and win, in Portland.
New York is great and Madison Square Garden is amazing but Dame's home is in Rip City. Hopefully, the Blazers can keep it that way.