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Belief in Simons’ Ability is Nothing New for Lillard

Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard voiced his continued support for third-year guard Anfernee Simons following Monday’s performance.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Thrust into a larger role after CJ McCollum’s injury, Trail Blazers third-year guard Anfernee Simons has put together a pair of solid outings in the past week. On Monday, Simons connected on six three-pointers and notched 26 points against the Thunder. After the game, Damian Lillard detailed his continued support of the former IMG Academy standout.

The Oregonian’s Aaron Fentress highlighted Lillard’s thoughts on Simons after Monday’s performance. Lillard explained that he has always believed in Simons’ talent.

“There’s a reason why we have a lot of faith in Ant and why we speak so highly of him,” Damian Lillard said.

Lillard continued by touching on a handful of Simons’ previous outbursts.

“I think he’s shown signs all along,” Lillard said. “Sometimes he’s gotten into the games in the past and had big games and hit big shots.”

Moving forward, it is clear that Lillard expects to see more double-digit stat lines from his 21-year-old backcourt partner.

“This is definitely who we think he can be,” Lillard said. “He can come in and score the ball. He can get to spots on the floor you can make plays and all that, so it’s good to see him put back-to-back games together like that.”

On the season, Simons is averaging 6.8 points per game and shooting 40.8 percent from the field. Lillard and Simons return to action on Thursday when the Blazers face the new-look Rockets.

You can read the full story from Fentress at The Oregonian.