Lillard first succumbed to the plantar fasciitis in late December, and missed a handful of games before returning to action. It seems as though he never fully healed, however, and the injury may have explained why his efficiency fell off a cliff in March and April. With a full regimen of rest and rehab on tap this summer, Lillard should be 100 percent healthy by training camp and will look to build on what was still his best season in the NBA.
Damian Lillard finished with 28 points (7-24 FG, 2-8 3Pt, 12-12 FT), seven assists, seven rebounds, and two steals over 39 minutes in Wednesday's Game 5 loss to the Warriors.
Lillard capped off a monstrous scoring season with another solid effort, although his perfect free throw shooting provided much of the cushion. The fourth-year guard nailed all 12 of his free throw attempts but struggled mightily from the floor in the second half, going two-for-12 over the final 24 minutes. Still, he avaraged 25.1 points during the regular season and 26.2 points in the playoffs for a Portland team that wasn't even suppose to win 30 games. He will start the 2015-16 season as an elite point guard option.
Lillard struggled with his shot for much of the game, but delivered when it counted in the second half, and nearly helped the Blazers fend off a Warriors comeback. The point guard scored 12 points in the final 7:23 of regulation and dished out a couple of huge assists late in the game to extend the game to overtime. He's now averaging 32.8 points and 5.8 three-pointers through the first four games of the series, although his high-volume shooting continues to limit his efficiency.
Damian Lillard tallied 40 points (14-27 FG, 8-13 3Pt, 4-4 FT), 10 assists and five rebounds over 42 minutes in Saturday's 120-108 Game 3 semifinal round victory over the Warriors.
The All-Star guard put on the caliber of breakout performance that had been expected of him throughout the postseason, producing his best field-goal percentage since back on Mar. 12 against the Magic. Lillard was particulary active-- and accurate-- from beyond the arc, with his eight made three-pointers serving as his postseason high. He scored 14 points in the second quarter, and 25 overall in the first half. After the Warriors adjusted their defensive approach accordingly to focus much more intently on him in the second half, Lillard was able to successfully set teammates up for scoring chances on seven occasions alone in the third quarter. He also drained back-to-back key three-pointers in the fourth period to help stave off a Warriors comeback. After the stellar performance, Lillard's series averages are up to 31.7 points, 7.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals over 41 minutes per contest.
Lillard has nailed 10 three-pointers through the first two games of this series, but he's needed 46 shots to get 55 points. One of his treys was a buzzer beater that gave the Blazers an 11-point lead entering the fourth quarter, but the Warriors erased the deficit while Lillard and company wilted in the final 12 minutes. The Blazers don't have any reliable creators outside of Lillard and C.J. McCollum, so expect Lillard to continue to take matters into his own hands. It would be surprising to see him fire up any less than 20 shots in a game through the rest of the second round.
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