Local flavor in the NBA: Damian Lillard shines as Jimmer Fredette sits
Kim Raff, AP
One of the best first rounds in NBA playoff history is coming to an end. It's almost unbelievable that five different series went to game seven. Along the way there have been hard fouls, great action and more big shots than we can count. Now that our local college favorites have a day off before they play again (if at all), it is the perfect time to recap how the first round went for each of them.
Andre Miller, Utah, Washington Wizards: The Wizards upset the Chicago Bulls in five games to advance to the Eastern Conference second round and a matchup with the Indiana Pacers. After a solid first two games of the series, Miller struggled in limited minutes over the last three contests. In game three, Miller totaled two points and an assist in Washington's only loss. Game four wasn't much better for Miller who finished with a rebound, two assists and a steal without scoring. Miller was also held scoreless in game five after missing all three of his field goal attempts and both of his free-throws.
For the series, Miller averaged four points, .8 rebounds and one assist in a little more than 10 minutes a game.
Andrew Bogut, Utah, Golden State Warriors: Bogut is still on the shelf with a broken rib and did not play in any of the seven first-round games between the Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers. His presence was clearly missed as DeAndre Jordan dominated the undermanned Warriors on the glass.
Jimmer Fredette, BYU, Chicago Bulls: Even though the Bulls had a very difficult time scoring in their 4-1 series loss to the Wizards, the sweet-shooting Fredette didn't play a second of action.
In his time with Chicago, Fredette has scored 32 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out three assists in 56 minutes of play.
For the season, Fredette averaged 5.6 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists in a little more than 10 minutes a game while splitting time between the Bulls and the Sacramento Kings.
Damian Lillard, Weber State, Portland Trail Blazers: Lillard is the talk of the league right now after knocking down a game-winning 3-pointer with 0.9 seconds left to eliminate the Houston Rockets 99-98 on Friday night. With that shot, Lillard propelled the Trail Blazers to their first series win since 2000, when they beat the Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz before falling to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.
After struggling with his shot during the first two games, Lillard shot better at least 50 percent from the floor in three of the last four outings against the Rockets. He topped that off on Friday night with a 25-point performance on 8-of-14 shooting from the field and 6-of-10 shooting from behind the arc.
In the six-game series, Lillard averaged 25.5 points on the strength of 48.9 percent shooting from 3-point range and 87.5 percent shooting from the free-throw line. He also added 6.3 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 1.3 steals in more than 44 minutes a night.
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