Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers are a “completely different team” heading into the 2019-20 campaign.
Lillard says they need to embrace championship expectations.
The Portland front office believes this is the “deepest, most talented, most experienced” squad they’ve assembled to date.
Per The AP:
“On one side we’re not coming into this season saying, ‘Oh we made it to the Western Conference finals last year so that’s automatically going to happen.’ We’ve got a completely different team, a lot of building to be done,” Lillard said. “But this year we’re coming in and our focus is to win a championship. I think our mentality has to shift to that.”
Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey said [former team owner Paul] Allen’s sister, Jody Allen, wants to win a “couple of championships,” with the Blazers, reiterating her commitment to the team. Olshey said she was just unanimously approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors.
“This is the deepest, most talented, most experienced team we’ve had since we’ve been here. … Clearly when Nurk gets back, it’s the biggest team we’ve had. I like the fact we brought in guys like Pau with a championship pedigree, who have been to where we’re trying to get to,” Olshey said. “And I think coming off the heels of last year’s run, it’s given these guys a springboard. Instead of finishing on a negative, we finished really strong and it has really inspired the guys.”