NBA

Damian Lillard calls Stephen Curry ‘greatest shooter’ ever while describing what goes into 50-point effort

After an impressive 50-point performance on a very efficient 13-of-20 shooting Tuesday night, Portland Trail Blazers star guard Damian Lillard used his postgame interview with the “NBA on TNT” crew as an opportunity to talk about Stephen Curry. When asked by Shaquille O’Neal to give some advice to kids watching him at home on how he became such a great shooter, Lillard gave an in-depth answer to his approach while also paying respect to the Golden State Warriors superstar.

“It’s just putting a lot of time into it,” Lillard said. “Obviously we think of Steph Curry first when he think of shooters — the greatest shooter to ever play in our league. But he’ll tell you the same thing — it’s a lot reps. Whether people are watching or whether you get credit for it or not, you put the time in. And you do it at a game pace, you do it with focus, you do it while you’re holding yourself to a certain standard.”

There’s been a lot of comparing Lillard and Curry over the past few seasons, specifically this year as Lillard is putting in an MVP performance on a nightly basis, and Curry is reminding people just how lethal of a shooter he is after being sidelined the majority of last season. But while that comparison may be talked up by the media to create some sort of “rivalry” between the two, it’s clear that it’s nothing but respect for each other on and off the floor. 

In addition to giving Curry some props, Lillard also dropped some legitimate wisdom on how he’s become such a clutch shooter.

“Make 10 in a row at each spot at the end of your workout when you’re tired and you probably don’t want to do it. Things like that over and over and over and over. You get better from the reps. More so than just physically, you get better mentally and more confident because you’ve done it so often. Then in the moments — end of the game, first quarter, second quarter, third quarter, a tough shot, an easy shot — you got the ultimate confidence that it’s gonna go in. And I think confidence is the biggest thing for shooters, right next to getting the reps in and knowing in your heart that you didn’t cheat. You put the time in and you deserve to make those shots, and you expect that result.”

Lillard’s become one of the most lethal shooters in the league, and when the game is on the line in the fourth quarter, you expect every ridiculous shot of his to go in — and it usually does. This season, Lillard is shooting 53 percent from deep in clutch situations, which is absolutely absurd. He’s got Portland fighting for a top four seed in the West, despite all the injuries the Trail Blazers have racked up this season, and with each outstanding performance he’s pushing himself further up the MVP ladder. 



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