Damian Lillard and teammates carry out the Trail Blazers’ blueprint for success

LaMarcus Aldridge, their star, left in free agency and, partly by plan and partly by accident, Portland began to assemble a group of players all on the same developmental arcs as Lillard and CJ McCollum. For the last four seasons, role players such as Al-Farouq Aminu and Maurice Harkless have flanked the Trail Blazers’ stars, and although Lillard’s big shot ended the series, the play of Aminu and Harkless was a big reason Portland won it.

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