Nov 27, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson (11) and point guard Stephen Curry (30) chase the ball during the second half against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Warriors 103-99. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard wants to do the Three-Point Contest

Feb 16, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Portland Trailblazers guard Damian Laillard (0) reaches for a rack of basketballs during the 2013 NBA all star skills challenge at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

 

Damian Lillard was not among the Western Conference All-Star starters that were announced on Thursday. Truthfully, no one should have expected him to be. He could still be selected by the coaches as an All-Star reserve, but, even then, his aspirations may go unfulfilled. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Lillard will miss out on the entirety of the weekend’s events. There is more than one way to New Orleans.

When Chris Haynes of CSNNW asked him about the three-point contest all the way back on November 7th, Damian Lillard stated that he was interested in competing. At the time, Portland had played only four games on their schedule, over which Lillard shot 16/33 from deep (nearly 50 percent). He’s since cooled off to remain one of the hottest three-point shooters in the NBA (42.4 percent).

 

“Oh yeah, for sure. I think I can shoot the ball very well. I think I’m one of the best shooters in the league. There are guys like Steph [Curry], Ray Allen who are better shooters than me, probably. But I can shoot the ball with anybody in the league. I think I would be good at it. It’s like reps. It’s timing. When you’re a jump-shooter, you lose time and get fatigued real easily. I don’t really jump. A set-shot is an easy shot for me so it will be fun to do something like that.”

 

I would be surprised if Lillard did not receive an invite. He trails Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors by three for most three-pointers made this season (Thompson & Curry have 134; Lillard has 131), and he’s on pace to blow out his previous season best of 185 made threes, which is the record for most three-pointers made by any rookie in NBA history.

Last year the three-point competition was won by Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Irving was a second-year point guard just like Lillard is now. However; Lillard has made more threes in this half-season than Irving did all of last season, and at a higher success rate. It stands to reason that he would fair just as well, if not better, in this year’s competition.

 

Feb 16, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Portland Trailblazers guard Damian Laillard (0) is presented the trophy for winning the 2013 NBA All-Star skills challenge at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

While we’re discussing Lillard’s potential participation in the 2014 NBA All-Star weekend, let’s not forget the avenues he took to last year’s affair. As a rookie, Damian Lillard participated in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge and won the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. Since the former is for rookies and sophomores, we’ll likely see Lillard take part once again.

Actually, it’s quite possible that Damian Lillard will compete in the three-point contest, Rising Stars Challenge, and Skills challenge this year. Unless, of course, he is selected as a reserve for the All-Star Game after all. In which case, he would likely dial back his participation in other events to stave off exhaustion. The 2014 NBA All-Star reserves will be announced Thursday, January 30th on TNT.

 

 

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Tags: Damian Lillard Kyrie Irving NBA All-Star Weekend Portland Trail Blazers Three-point Contest

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