‘Unlimited Range’: LeBron James Opens Up on the Struggles of Guarding a Player Like Damian Lillard

Published 02/27/2021, 10:30 AM EST
Feb 26, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) passes the ball under pressure from Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) and center Montrezl Harrell (15) in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Los Angeles Lakers snapped their four-game losing streak by posting a 103-92 victory against the Portland Trailer Blazers. LeBron James was satisfied with how his team contained Damian Lillard in the second half. 

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It was a much-needed victory for the Lakers, and it came against challenging opponents. Lillard went for 35 points in a losing cause, but the silver lining for the team was that the Blazers guard caused most of the destruction in the first half. 

LeBron James was asked to comment about guarding Lillard in the post-game press conference, to which he responded in good spirit. The purple and gold held together in the last two quarters of the game to seal the win. 

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Feb 20, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) positions teammates during the seconds quarter against the Miami Heat at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James mentioned how dangerous Damian Lillard can be on the offense

The Lakers demonstrated a masterclass on how to contain Damian Lillard in the final minutes of a game. They hugged him tight on defense and allowed him only to make three field goals in the final quarter, which largely hindered the Blazers’ impact on the game. 

“Dame has an unlimited range so you have to be up on screens. Once he crosses half court, he is in his range, so you know you have to have everybody up the floor the guy that’s guarding him and the guy that’s guarding the pick and roll,” LeBron James said about guarding Lillard. 

“There’s gonna be double drags there’s gonna be single drags there’s gonna be a lot of things that are going on in early transition,” he further added. 

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James also brought up that Lillard hardly gives his opponents any room for error, but the Lakers were successful in containing the danger that loomed over them. James scored 28 points and secured 11 rebounds to seal the win and achieved yet another milestone with his effort. 

The win over the Blazers also marked the 49th time in LeBron’s career where led his team in points, assists, rebounds, blocks, and steals. The next closest player on the list is Kevin Garnett with 29 such games! 

This stat just proves that LeBron James is a gift that keeps on giving! James is showing no signs of slowing down in his 18th NBA season and is attempting to complete the double with the Lakers. Can he go all the way in 2021?

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Arjun Athreya

1800 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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