Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/25/13
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. He wants to see a different player when he watches the post-game DVDs in the future. He wants to not hear the critiques about a point guard with a limitless future offensively and little reason for pride on the other side of the ball. This is the new Lillard with 2013-14, his second season, days away from opening. “He took a lot of criticism about his defense,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. “Obviously he had a great season as a rookie. Historical in some ways. But people kind of chipped away at his defense, and he took that to heart. You can really tell that he’s put his mind to it, because he wants to be great at both ends.” The Trail Blazers see Lillard better at navigating screens and better able to anticipate what the opponent will do on offense. Some of that was always there – he hit the league smart and mature after four years in college – and some is the experience from the rookie learning curve.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Anquan Boldin says he is completely done with football

Report: Fowler charged with three misdemeanors for alleged attack

Report: Broncos players believe Siemian has won starting job

Report: Goodell close to signing five-year extension with NFL

Report: Pacers accuse Lakers of tampering with Paul George

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Anquan Boldin abruptly tells Bills he's retiring

Todd Bowles blames O-line for Christian Hackenberg’s poor preseason outing

Justin Verlander implies baseballs are juiced

Blake Griffin: I could see LeBron going to NYC before LA

Ric Flair's daughter says WWE legend 'getting better'

NBA confirms Lakers under investigation for tampering

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

Best of Yardbarker: NFL goes in on Ezekiel Elliott, NFLPA

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

The 'Bye bye to the Beast Incarnate?' quiz

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

Box Score 8/18: Reds and Cubs claw through a 23-run game

The 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Giancarlo Stanton won't stop hitting homers

NFL shifts blame for Zeke suspension to police and NFLPA

Box Score 8/17: Interleague games bring the fireworks

The 'Forget Calvin, bring back Jerry' quiz

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Getaway Day: The playing field is leveling off as the wild-card chase takes shape

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

The 'Bye bye to the Beast Incarnate?' quiz

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

The 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Giancarlo Stanton won't stop hitting homers

NFL shifts blame for Zeke suspension to police and NFLPA

The 'Forget Calvin, bring back Jerry' quiz

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Charles Oakley slams the phone — and his opponents — down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker