Sep 9, 2013, 12:47 PM EDT
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.
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