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Blazers Do Not Need An All-Star To Have A Winning Mindset

Sam Amick of USA Today speaks with Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard about the youth and focus of this Blazers team.

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Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Despite their best efforts, Trail Blazers still don't know how to lose. That's how I read Sam Amick's post today on USATODAY.com. Amick's headline actually reads "Damian Lillard might not be an All-Star, but Blazers are winning," but that doesn't get into the subtlety he highlights throughout the piece.

The Blazers are a young team that hasn't been together all that long and while they haven't won big together over the course of a full season, they also haven't lost big together. While no one on the Blazers roster, save Terry Stotts, has championship experience the one common theme preached by Lillard, this team's unabashed leader, is a championship mindset.

"It's a battle because you do all these things, and you invest all this time, and everybody thinks it's a rebuilding situation, so you're invested in it (with) a championship habit, developing championship habits, but not a lot is expected."

More than just championship habits as a cliché, Lillard breaks down the nuance of a championship mentality.

"You get up every morning, and you've got a young team," Lillard explained. "So it's not like coach (Terry Stotts) is saying, ‘We're not practicing today.' There's not as much slack. You don't have the veterans out there trying to get an extra day, or trying to have practice be limited. You don't have that, and the coaches see that we've got 19 year olds, and we've got 22-year-olds, and we're going to work. We're going to earn our stripes and we're going to be ready. So it's a battle."

For Amick's full breakdown and a few not so subtle jabs at LaMarcus Aldridge's All-Star candidacy, read his article, here.

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