Even with this loss, we are currently being confronted with the very real possibility that the Trailblazers make the WCF Conference Finals. That possibility would have been realer had they won this game like they should’ve (can’t be wasting a primo 19-point game from Al-Farouq Aminu, come on now), in which case it would almost tangible. The freaky thing is, if the Blazers don’t move on to the next round, that means the NUGGETS will. Now, I like both these teams, but I don’t know if casual fans do, and I bet the NBA wishes more than anything that they could just have a rematch of Rockets-Warriors in the WCF, and maybe even a third rematch in the Finals.
As I alluded to, it’s a shame that Aminu’s excellent performance was kinda wasted. 19 points is way more points than he’s usually been scoring in these ‘offs, where single-digit scoring nights are almost the norm. Combined with the unexpected contributions of Seth Curry, this should’ve been an easy win. I watched this whole game, so I should be able to tell exactly what went wrong, but I can’t figure it out. Yeah, they let Nikola Jokic get another triple-double, but that happens all the time whether you want it to or not. Did Damian Lillard not play well enough? 28 points and 7 assists on 40 percent shooting seems fine enough to me.
One could argue that this loss is, in fact, Aminu’s fault, since if he scored 40, there would’ve been no doubt as to the outcome. Rereading that sentence, I can’t find any blatant logical flaws in it, no ad hominems, no strawmen, no faulty reasoning, so I think we’ve come to our answer.