After the Portland Trail Blazers 116-111 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Damian Lillard said the team spoke after in the locker room about the group’s situation with an 11-16 record.
“My thing to the guys was like, I’ve been here before, we’ve been here before. It’s not ideal. You don’t want to keep telling yourselves in the locker room, ‘Alright, We’ve got to keep pushing; it’s going to get better.’ You know, it’s a situation that we have to make better,” Lillard said. “We have to do things better. And that starts with me.”
After missing the previous five games with an abdominal injury, Lillard returned to the lineup and recorded 24 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists on 5-for-17 shooting from the field. According to The Oregonian’s Aaron Fentress, Lillard took a cortisone shot to speed up his return to the court.
Head coach Chauncey Billups noted Lillard’s noticeable off-shooting night, 3-14 from three, resulted from a lack of basketball reps that Lillard has been able to go through over the past few weeks.
Since boasting a 53-win season in 2018-19, the Blazers have struggled to stay ahead of an ever-changing and stacked Western Conference. With guard CJ McCollum out for the foreseeable future with a collapsed lung, Lillard is confident he and his squad will turn things around, given all they’ve endured over the years.
On Tuesday night, Lillard and the Blazers will continue their four-game homestand against Phoenix (21-4).