“I’m gonna continue to be me and shoot the same shots”

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Damian Lillard’s Portland Trail Blazers got off to a losing start in the 2021-22 NBA season. Chauncey Billups’ men endured a narrow 121-124 defeat to the rejuvenated Sacramento Kings at home.

Lillard had a difficult night individually after going 0-for-9 from the three-point range. The sharpshooting point guard was unfazed by it, though.

After the game, the 31-year-old said that he will continue to rely on his shooting as always, despite his underwhelming outing. He said:

“It’s not my first time going 0-for-9, 10. I’ve done it a few times in my career. Opening night isn’t the night you want it to happen. I think about what if I had gone 3-for-9 or 4-for-9. It’s one of 82. I’m gonna continue to be me and shoot the same shots.” (h/t Sean Highkin)

Damian Lillard had 20 points, 11 assists and six rebounds by the end of the game. The Trail Blazers were down by 18 points at one stage. However, they made a strong comeback in the second half to give themselves a solid chance of winning the contest.

They cut the Kings’ lead to 122-121 with 11 seconds to go. However, Harrison Barnes converted two clutch free throws, while Lillard missed his ninth three-point attempt on the last possession, sealing the win for Luke Walton’s side.


Damian Lillard dismisses rumors about leaving Portland Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard is committed to the Portland Trail Blazers because of coach Chauncey Billups
Damian Lillard is committed to the Portland Trail Blazers because of coach Chauncey Billups

Damian Lillard recently told Jason Quick of The Athletic that he isn’t leaving the Portland Trail Blazers.

According to Lillard, new head coach Chauncey Billups had a role to play in his decision. Here’s what the point guard said in the interview:

“I think a big part of (my change in mindset) was me and Chauncey’s conversations, and where we see things the same,” Lillard told The Athletic. “I’m not going to share details of our conversations, but it’s not often when I speak to people that they see what I see. Watching a game, observing people … there’s not many people who see what I see. But a lot of what I see, he sees. So that was very important to me. Like, that was a big deal.”

The Portland Trail Blazers have failed to surround Damian Lillard with a championship-caliber team. They were eliminated from the 2021 playoffs in the first round. It was the fourth time in five years that they had to endure a first-round exit.

“I’m not leaving Portland… Adversity is going to hit, there’s goong to be tough times. So if it starts off rocky or if it starts out as a struggle I won’t be happy about it, nobody would. But I’m not going to jump ship and bail out when that happens.” — @Dame_Lillard

The Trail Blazers have had an underwhelming offseason after failing to acquire many of their targets. The squad looks more or less the same from the last campaign.

Nevertheless, Damian Lillard is motivated to stay and help the team win a championship. On top of that, Chauncey Billups’ appointment can also give the side a new direction, so they will have a lot to look forward to this season.

Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh


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