Lillard: Breaks Down Final Possession, Barton
At the risk of stating the obvious -- Damian Lillard looks completely worn out.
The length of the NBA season may finally be getting to him... along with more aggressive and physical defense by all the teams either playoff bound or fighting for a post-season berth the Blazers have been matched against lately. Lillard has been playing huge minutes all season and is hitting the floor much more frequently lately. And in a few cases, he's hit the floor hard.
And there is a noticeable difference in his production.
In Lillard's last five games his field-goal shooting has dropped off to 37.7 percent overall and just 30.4 percent from three-point range. Even his free-throw percentage has dipped markedly, down to 68.8 percent over that time. He's getting just six assists to go with 2.6 turnovers per game, too. And in his last four games he's continued to play big minutes -- 40, 40, 41 and 39 in that span. I sensed that at times he's been kept on the floor to help him get his numbers up a little to protect his season averages but in blowout games it may have been better to get him out.
Perhaps the extra day off prior to Wednesday's home game vs. the Lakers will help, but if not, it might not be a bad idea to take it a little easier on him.