Damian Lillard stepped up for Team USA during their second game at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. After their upset loss to France in their opening game, Team USA needed a statement win. And that is exactly what they earned when they dominated Iran to win 120-66. While Iran is nowhere near the caliber of France when it comes to basketball, the US can use this win to regain their mojo.
Lillard was fantastic during the game, scoring 21 points, getting all his shots from three-pointers. Lillard scored 7 threes as he led Team USA on the scoring end. Lillard's performance was much better than his initial game against France. During the game, Dame seemed hesitant to shoot the three, opting to pass the ball or take more guaranteed shots. But it appears one of his teammates approached him and told him to be more liberal with his perimeter shots.
After the second game against Iran, Damian Lillard spoke about his performances in the tournament. Speaking to The Athletic, Lillard mentioned that Draymond Green approached him after the game and asked why he wasn't taking shots outside the arc. Lillard is one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA, and the shot is considered his specialty. Green explained to him that the team needed Lillard's perimeter scoring at the moment, and him not taking the chance to shoot is hurting the team's performance. Upon hearing that, Lillard vowed to take more chances to shoot the three in their next game and help Team USA's fortunes around.
“He was just like, ‘that’s not what you do. Like, you knock those types of shots down, and that’s what we needed you to do at that moment.’ You passing up opportunities like that doesn’t serve this team well,’. We spoke about it and it was simple. I just said ‘I should have shot it and it won’t happen again. I’m gonna come correct going forward.”
Clearly, Lillard made the adjustments that Draymond told him he needed to make. Dame was making threes like it was the dying moments of a game throughout the night. As Team USA moves forward in their Olympic campaign, they will rely heavily on Lillard and his ability to shoot from beyond the arc.