For the 2013-14 season Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard has his eyes fixated on making the All-Star game and leading his team to the playoffs, according to Kurt Helin of Probasketballtalk.com.
The 23-year-old is coming off an impressive rookie season where he averaged 19.0 points and 6.5 assists which helped him unanimously sweep all six Western Conference Rookie of the Month awards, win the NBA Rookie of the Year award, an NBA All-Rookie First Team selection, break the rookie single-season record for most three-pointers made, and also lead the league in minutes played.
“I think it’s always been internal. I always had high expectations for myself. If I go to a baseball field, if I’m playing with Major League Baseball players, I expect to play well. It comes from my family, too,” said Lillard in an interview with Matt Moore of CBS’s Eye on Basketball. “They always made me believe it. Anytime I was playing basketball or football, they were telling me I belong out there. I started to take that attitude out there. Why not be an All-Star? I believe it can happen. As long as I believe it, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says.
Earning an All-Star game selection this season may be a very difficult task as the Western Conference is stacked with talent in the backcourt with players such as Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Kobe Bryant, James Harden, Tony Parker, Stephen Curry, Ty Lawson, and Jrue Holiday.
This is not to say Lillard will not be an All-Star selection this year, as he is one of the NBA’s young and promising point guards, but that it will be steep mountain to climb in overtaking several other marquee players in All-Star voting.
As for his playoff aspirations this season, he will be leading a team filled with young talent in C.J. McCollum, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Nicolas Batum. This will also be a difficult goal to acheive as the Western conference is loaded with good teams that includes the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzles, but as stated before Portland can compete for a playoff spot barring any significant injury any of their core players.
Photo Credit: Chris Humphrey/USA TODAY Sports
Bob Garcia IV
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