Despite not competing in every event like he did five years ago, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard managed to keep busy during All-Star Weekend. He participated in the 3-Point Contest with teammate Seth Curry, suited up for Team LeBron in the All-Star Game, and coached the NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Basketball Game.
About his first All-Star Game experiences compared to now, Lillard said:
“I think your first couple times you’re just trying to figure out how things go, how things work… you don’t want to try too hard, you don’t want to look like you’re not trying at all, you’re just trying to find that middle space and this year was different just because I felt settled.”
He certainly put the right amount of effort in, scoring 18 points for Team LeBron and leading the team with a plus-20 plus/minus rating. His back-to-back three-pointers from the logo sparked Team LeBron’s comeback and had players coming off the bench celebrating.
“My first year, I remember I played like seven minutes or something like that and I couldn’t be mad because I looked down the bench and it was Hall of Famers down there, but now I think just getting more opportunity, you’re out there for longer stretches of time and you get more comfortable and you’re able to get on a roll when the opportunity presents itself.”
The rest of Woodyard’s article is available to read here.