Damian Lillard Wants to Play Fewer Minutes Next Season

by August 21, 2013

Portland’s young, ambitious point guard has big goals next season. Damian Lillard, in addition to individual accolades, wants to lead the Trail Blazers back into the Playoffs. However, Lillard is looking to reduce the wear and tear on his body during his second year in the L. Per USA Today: “Damian Lillard doesn’t want to lead the NBA in minutes played again. The Portland Trail Blazers point guard got a taste of that workload during his rookie of the year season, and he didn’t like it. ‘Sometimes when you’re out there (playing) so many minutes, your body can wear down,’ Lillard said. ‘So you’re not always productive at the highest levels because you might be worn down.’ Lillard, drafted sixth overall out of Weber State in 2012, averaged 19.0 points and 6.5 assists a game last season. But the Blazers, who finished 11th in the Western Conference, lacked depth at every position, so he also played 38.6 minutes a game and an NBA-best 3,167 overall. General manager Neil Olshey has made moves this offseason to correct that. The Blazers drafted Lillard’s friend, fellow midmajor star C.J. McCollum of Lehigh, with the No. 10 pick. They followed with trades for center Robin Lopez and forward Thomas Robinson, the No. 5 overall draft pick in 2012. And Lillard now has a backup, as veteran Mo Williams signed as a free agent. Lillard is happy with the extra help he’s getting. ‘It was definitely what we needed,’ he said. ‘We needed size and we got that. We needed more depth, and we definitely got that. I think we’ve made a lot of moves to help our team,’ he added. ‘Now we’ve just gotta figure out a way to develop that chemistry and perform on the floor together.'”