The Blazers avoided elimination with a Game 4 victory at home over the Grizzlies, thanks in large part to a brilliant 32-point performance from Damian Lillard that kept his team alive.
Portland still trails three games to one in the series, but in advance of another potential elimination contest, LaMarcus Aldridge says that his team isn’t the one that’s facing all the pressure.
LaMarcus Aldridge: ‘The pressure is on (Memphis) to close us out. We’re just trying to get this back to Portland.’ pic.twitter.com/qVdMAEZeWf
— Michael Wallace (@WallaceNBA_ESPN) April 29, 2015
The second part is likely more true than the first.
No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in NBA history, and this Blazers squad isn’t likely to become the first. They trailed by 10 in the fourth quarter of Game 4, and Lillard only had the breakout game that he did because Mike Conley sat out with a facial injury that later required surgery.
Conley is out again for Game 5, so Lillard (against the likes of Nick Calathes and Beno Udrih) will once again have his opportunities. But there is little margin for error where the Blazers are concerned, and if the team should find itself trailing late in the contest, it will be up to Aldridge at that point to prove his statement’s worth.