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Damian Lillard Believes His Focus on Defense Is Paying Off

Lillard talks about his defensive effort this season with Jason Quick of The Athletic.

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NBA: Chicago Bulls at Portland Trail Blazers Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard is known for his offensive output with the Portland Trail Blazers, but the guard made defense a focus this summer, too. Lillard talked about the confidence he has in his defensive game with Jason Quick of The Athletic (subscription to The Athletic required) after playing some tight defense against the Chicago BullsZach LaVine on Wednesday:

“I always look myself in the mirror,” Lillard said. “Everybody says they go into the summer and say they try to get better, and I try to find things that I’m not great at, and stuff where I can improve myself. And that’s what we did that summer. The first 20 minutes of every workout was defense.”

It’s the embracing of the challenge that has gone a long way for the offensive-minded guard on defense:

“It’s the want to,” Lillard said. “The wanting to do it. I could have 30 points, or I could have eight points, but on the defensive end, I’m coming down and taking that challenge, and taking it every time.”

You can read more about the intensity on defense that Lillard showed against the Bulls here (subscription to The Athletic required).