Despite Leaving Portland, Damian Lillard Advises the New ‘Dame-Time’ Blazers Guard on How to Break “Insane Defense”

Published 01/12/2024, 8:43 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

A lot of great players like Clyde Drexler, Bill Walton and Scottie Pippen have donned the jersey of the Portland Trail Blazers. However, few have had the influence and impact that Damian Lillard has had on the franchise. The Dame Dolla will go down in history as the greatest Blazers’ player of all-time. But the Dame Time with the Blazers came to a disappointing end, earlier this season, as he left the franchise after 12 years of loyal service.

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Nevertheless, Dame left the franchise in good hands. In a recent interview, Blazers’ star Anfernee Simmons revealed the influence and impact Dame has had on his career.

Dame’s advice helped Simons to break shackles

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Anfernee Simons made an appearance on the latest episode of JJ Redick’s podcast, The Old Man and the Three. During a conversation, Simons credited Lillard for giving him the confidence to succeed in the clutch. To which Redick replied by saying, “Dame Time rubbed off on you.” 

Simons further explained how Dame helped him deal with “insane defenses.” He said, “I’m going through everything he (Lillard) has been through, especially this year. Where they’re throwing insane defenses at me. I don’t want to sit here and take tough shots, but it looks like I might have to just sit here and take tough shots. He’s (Dame) like, ‘sometimes that’s just what it is. You can’t let them take you out of the game. That day is gonna be a tough shot day. And all the best players are gonna make it, regardless.’”

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Anfernee Simons has really stepped up as the talisman of a young Blazers side. He has averaged 23.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists. Furthermore, Simons has one of the best averages in clutch points per 48-minutes with an impressive 70.1. However, the Blazers still remain one of the worst teams in the league.

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What does the future hold for the Blazers?

The Portland Trail Blazers have one of the youngest rosters in the league. The average age of the roster is 24.2, which is the third youngest in the NBA. Despite their relative inexperience, the Blazers have pulled off some promising victories over title-contenders like the Suns and the Timberwolves.

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The Blazers also possess some extremely talented young players like Shaedon Sharpe and Scoot Henderson, who have the potential to be future superstars of the league. However, for the next couple of seasons, the Blazers’ fans have to get used to losing. But the future looks extremely promising for the Blazers, with Simons leading the team.

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Written by:

Dushyant Singh

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Dushyant Singh is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. His basketball script journey began in 2020 when he was captivated by the Los Angeles Lakers? triumphant NBA championship win. Before that he was merely dribbling and dunking as a boy next door.
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Edited by:

Bilal Handoo

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