Portland Trail Blazers: Could Damian Lillard extend the long range revolution even further?

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /
Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /

Nicknamed “Logo Lillard,” Damian Lillard has been one of the integral parts to the deep-three revolution. But after his recent interview with TNT’s Ernie Johnson, could he change the NBA by going even deeper?

If we’re grasping at straws and trying to find positives to the cancelled NBA season, perhaps there’s one: it’s allowed us to get to know our Portland Trail Blazers players more closely.

Yesterday, on the second edition of “#NBATogether” on NBA on TNT, Damian Lillard provided a closer look into his life. The Blazers star guard discussed everything from his adjustment to fatherhood to his knowing of Weber State even before they recruited him, thanks to the classic NCAA March Madness video game series.

Ernie’s final question — what would Lillard’s comfortable shooting range be when it’s all said and done — opens the floodgates. Here was Lillard’s response:

"“I mean I can pull up from half court comfortably. The only reason I haven’t done it is because I don’t wanna push it that far consistently, cause that’s just crazy. But, I can literally do it. I’m gonna do it during one of these games. No, literally from the half court line, watch.”"


Over the years, Lillard has become one of the leaders of the long-range revolution. Since 2015-16 — the year Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry blew the doors off the debate — it’s actually Lillard that leads the NBA in shots ranging from 30-to-40 feet.

According to Basketball Reference’s shot finder, Lillard has hit a league-high 82-of-233 over the last four seasons. And this year, he’s an efficient 43 percent behind 30-feet.

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In the near future, we could potentially see that stretch out to 47-feet (the distance from the half-court line to the rim), a development that could change the game of basketball. He’s flirted with that range before, of course. But never habitually.

For reference, remember that the NBA defines shots where both feet behind that half-court line as “heaves.” Even if Lillard steps one foot ahead of that line, it would still qualify as a heave to the untested eye. And given his confidence and history as a Northwest splash brother, it certainly wouldn’t be a dry heave.

Just for the sake of thinking about how rare this would be, there have been 121 shots taken from 40-to-47 feet this season.

This year, there have been only eight documented makes out of that 121, with only Charlotte’s Devonte’ Graham responsible for making one that wasn’t at the end of the quarter.

Ironically enough, Lillard’s lone shot from those parameters came against Charlotte on Jan. 13th.


If you think Paul George was sweating a “bad shot” before, imagine if this becomes something you have to account for, being lasso’d almost into the other half of the court.

Lillard’s a smart player, which can sometimes go unrecognized when he’s mesmerizing us with otherworldly buckets. While nothing in the NBA is for certain, trends don’t point to him taking tons of these on a per game basis. But if he has success on these attempts, especially right away, don’t think for a section that the likes of Trae Young or perhaps Davis Bertans won’t test their luck in doing the same.

Next. The most interesting player comparisons in Blazers' drafting history. dark

The rest of the half-hour discussion deserves a listen as well. For those interested in Lillard’s mindset late in games, and his mechanisms on dealing with tough times in today’s world, it’s certainly something to take a look at.