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Damian Lillard sets goal of being All-Star

Sep 9, 2013, 12:47 PM EDT

APTOPIX Rookie of Year Basketball AP

Damian Lillard sets his goals high.

Last season’s Rookie of the Year isn’t shying away from expectations — he wants to help lead the Trail Blazers to the playoffs and he wants to make the All-Star Team this year. He believes he can.

That’s what Lillard said to Matt Moore of CBS’s Eye on Basketball, in an interview that also talked about bullying and his EA Sports NBA Live.

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. 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.

Blazers fans, you should like that this guy sets his goals that high.

Lillard needs to be more efficient and his defense needs to improve to be at an All-Star level, but those are reachable goals for him.

Lillard biggest All-Star hurdle is the West is LOADED with guards ahead of him. Last season Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul started, with James Harden, Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook coming off the bench (and some fans complained about the Parker selection). That still left out Stephen Curry, Ty Lawson, Ricky Rubio (he had been injured), Steve Nash, and Mike Conley. Now for 2014, you can move Jrue Holiday — an All Star for the East last season — over to the West. It’s not that Lillard won’t deserve the nod, it’s that deserving players are going to miss the cut.

That said, I’m expecting Lillard to lead the Blazers to a much better season this year, it’s just like getting in the All-Star Game, getting in the playoffs in a loaded West will not be easy.

  1. vi3tguy415 - Sep 9, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    UHH NO. don’t think so. not good enough. he got owned by kyrie irving. just haven’t seen him backed it up against top flyers pgs. only injuries can help his cause.

  2. eugenesaxe1 - Sep 9, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    Give him time, and take the All-Star vote out of the fans’ hands, and he’ll make it.

  3. wowwowbad - Sep 10, 2013 at 4:50 AM

    If he brings his stats up a little and also help his team getting more wins then there’s possibility. I like Portland’s summer acquisition, but the height of their backcourt players maybe a bit undersized… especially if they would try to play Lillard along with C.J. McCollum or Mo Williams, they would get posted up by other teams all the time.

  4. muhangis - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    He was one of the oldest rookies last year and with the most playing time. He did an above decent job. But he was not close to the best rookie. As their careers play down the road, I think he’ll fall just out from the top 10 of the strong ’12 draft class.

  5. muhangis - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    The All-Star and RoY vote does need to come out of the fan’s hands… It’s about rewarding the best players of that (mid-) season, and watching them compete against each other. And yes a player’s previous season’s great play can factor limitedly into it too. But it should not be a popularity contest, in order for Stern’s own want of popularity!

  6. dysraw1 - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    from the looks i had last yr. not counting highlights, looks pretty solid to me

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