Damian Lillard reaffirmed his loyalty to the Portland Trail Blazers after a summer full of rumors despite not seeming too happy with the management from the franchise during the trade market.
Dame has always been more like Nowitzki, as he is confident that one day he will have the opportunity to earn a ring with the team that drafted him. He does not want to hear about super teams, but maybe being surrounded by stars during the Olympics have made him to have some infidel thoughts.
All these doubts have been multiplied after his poor start into the season, averaging worst numbers than on his rookie year, but he is now improving them.
New style in the bench:
Terry Sttots, who had been the coach since Damian Lillard was drafted, was substituted this summer by Chauncey Billups. The franchise decided that they needed to change directions and Lillard himself seemed happy with Billups’ arrival despite his short experience in the bench.
The new offensive approach by Blazers’ coach is about moving the ball fast in order to find free players. We have seen Lillard during so many years that to create the space to finish the play himself, only supported by CJ McCollum.
The complicated shooting selection by Dame, which was based on long distance triples with close defense, added to the fact that his team does not really bet on blocking, can be affecting Lillard’s adaptation after an Olympics where he has not played his best either.
Change of the rules:
Players like Harden have complained with the NBA’s new rules, which are way more strict on unnatural movements that provoke faults during the shot. It is a reality that the number of shots attempted by these kind of players has decreased, as they forced their defenders to fault them, many times in an unfair way.
Lillard also made a recent statement on the subject, saying that the referees were being unfair, but he considers that he has never been a player who looks for the fault intentionally.
It is true that his free shooting percentage has been reduced, but he is not a player who relies on it them that much and his real problem is on the scoring triples accuracy (25,4% with 12 games played).
There have been several aspects that have influenced on his performing, but Lillard is just talking about a bad streak and accepts the challenge of returning to his best level: “I always see struggles as an opportunity to show my true character,” said Lillard. “When things are going well, there is a lot of praise that goes with it. Lots of people give you a lot of credit… But I think it says more when you go through something and the shit hits the fan and you fight and everyone has something to say and for me the real ones here they can keep on trucking and keep going while they find a way to get the job done”.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.
Main Image: Portland Trail Blazers Website.
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