Photo / Bruce Ely

Lillard Undeterred by Illness in Golden State Series

by Cody Sharrett

Addressing the media following Sunday's Game One defeat to the Golden State Warriors, a raspy voiced Damian Lillard revealed he's been battling a "chest cold" over the past couple of days. 

Hardly able to speak during his post-game press conference, the timing for Lillard's illness is inopportune, to put it mildly. Never one to make excuses, the Trail Blazers point guard is fighting through the ailment to better himself and his team ahead of Game Two on Tuesday. 

"I actually felt pretty good," Lillard told reporters Monday afternoon. "Obviously being clogged up inside has you a little more winded than usual, but there’s no excuses. The bottom line is my team needs me to perform better than I did.

"Tomorrow I’ve gotta be better; I will be. Our team will be better."

What needs to be better following the 118-106 defeat in Game One? While the fight was there for Lillard and his teammates, the point guard says he can improve in just about every aspect in Game Two after watching Sunday's game film.

"I didn’t think I played well," LIllard explained to the media. "If there was one thing, I know I competed. I went out there, I tried to be active defensively: deflect balls, being physical, taking the challenge on the post. There was times in transition where I was relaxed a little bit and my guy might've ran past me or I coulda been in better help position and I wasn’t in position to help because I wasn’t urgent enough. Offensively, a lot of times I got into the paint and I was trying to be aggressive. There was two or three guys coming over to help and I was missing guys on the weakside for more quality shots. That’s why you get to watch film and you see what you didn’t do well enough. 

"I was proud of the effort part of my game, but I gotta be a lot better."

Game Two tips-off at Oracle Arena in Oakland at 7:30 pm on TNT.