Portland’s Damian Lillard has been a hot topic of conversation since his first game last season. He swept the Rookie of the Month honors which led to him winning the Rookie of the Year award in his first season with the Blazers. Now, in his sophomore campaign he earned his first All-Star game honor as well.
Wednesday night it was also announced that Lillard has accepted the NBA’s invite to participate in the dunk contest over All-Star Weekend as well. Adding that event could have Lillard making history during All-Star Weekend as he could be the first player ever to participate in all five events.
The events are: BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, and of course the NBA All-Star Game itself.
Quite the schedule for Mr. Lillard and I’m curious whether the Blazers will actually want him to participate in all five events. Usually players use this time to get some rest (Dame plays 36.1 minutes a night) and though these events are short in nature they could have an adverse effect on Lillard, at least in the short-term.
Regardless, here’s some highlights for some of the contests, a preview if you will.
Lillard will be defending his 2013 Skills Challenge victory.
Lillard currently sits third in the NBA in 3-pointers made at 140, and he’s shooting 40.5 percent from three as well. We won’t see any 3′s this deep during the competition, but this shows Lillard’s immense range from behind the arc. Look away Cavs fans (just kidding, I know there aren’t any Cavs fans)…
This is an interesting proposition for Dame to be in the dunk contest. For one, he doesn’t dunk that often however when he does they are usually memorable. According to Ben Golliver of Blazers Edge, Lillard has very few dunks this year as well…
According to NBA’s stats site, Damian Lillard has dunked eight times this season.
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) February 6, 2014
This dunk is from just last week against the Denver Nuggets — here you can see the potential for some nice dunks in the dunk contest and to be honest the little guys dunks always look better anyways. Here’s hoping Lillard gives us a show!
Could this hectic weekend tire Lillard out for the short-term? Sure, it could but who are we to deprive this young up and coming star of his All-Star Weekend fun?
Portland can use all the momentum they can get and if Damian is able to bring home a trophy or two from All-Star Weekend, then maybe that can help springboard his team into the second half of the grueling NBA season.
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