The DVD of the just-completed game would be dropped off before he left the locker room. Sometimes Damian Lillard would watch later the same night, usually he wouldn’t. Sometimes he would watch on another day, usually he wouldn’t. That went on month after month last season.
In the summer, he had a collection and he had time. Lillard would watch, mostly alone at his home in Portland. And he would cringe.
“In my head, I was kind of embarrassed watching myself,” Lillard told NBA.com.
His defense looked that bad.
“Just to see some of the plays that I could have done a better job on or showed more effort that I gave,” he said. “I couldn’t believe I was doing that.”
He is the reigning Rookie of the Year, a foundation of the promising future of the Trail Blazers… and seeing a big hole in his game. Just as bad, he was hearing about it too. That settled it. Angered, driven and admittedly ashamed, Lillard made improving on defense a priority as he went through offseason workouts.