Game 7 was the ultimate argument why Dame is a better player than Westbrook. Yep, the game we saw last night, a game in which Lillard shot 3-17. His performance tonight showed he has something Westbrook never showed on the court. Self-control.
Westbrook’s energy and rage he plays with is often glorified. His dunks have a little special something that makes you grab your head, but it easily crosses the line of unnecessary machismo. A lot of players say they will do whatever it takes to win, but not many actually believe it. Would Westbrook defer to CJ McCollum in a Game 7, watch him take 27 shots, including the most important ones at the end of the game?
Dame realized CJ had the hot hand and changed his game to support his guy. He finished the game with 10 rebounds, 10 assists, and 3 steals. That’s what makes him the amazing leader everyone talks about. Not many teams would survive getting swept like the Trail Blazers did and come back stronger for it.
So even more so than their head to head matchup in Round 1, this game demonstrated the difference that puts Lillard a level above Westbrook. It didn’t matter it was him, as long as the team got there. This isn’t something you can do in the playoffs or in a game. That kind of trust and building your teammates self-esteem is a regular season project. en you steal rebounds and sulk when players miss open threes because it ruins your triple-double, you’re not preparing for a game like this.
To me, that’s why I’d take Lillard over Westbrook any day of the week. That and the fact he can shoot the ball.
P.S. Just ask Rodney Hood what’s his stress level shooting a three in Portland compared to Cleveland.