Blazers star Damian Lillard’s halfcourt pull-ups are shots Terry Stotts is ‘definitely prepared for’
Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts has seen his offense transform from a dynamic two-guard attack to a wild card full of surprises. Damian Lillard’s improved range and willingness to take jumpers well-behind the 3-point line has been a welcome addition, but he could take that even further to stay true to his Logo Lillard nickname.
Lillard told NBA on TNT host Ernie Johnson that he’s ready to pull up from half-court once the season returns.
According to Stotts, apparently Lillard wasn’t kidding with this tease:
“Before this whole pandemic, I think it was about a month before it happened, he was shooting it pretty easy from half-court and asked, ‘Coach, what you think when I come down and do this?’ I didn’t say yes, I didn’t say no, but I’m definitely prepared for it.”
"I didn’t say yes… I didn’t say no… but I’m definitely prepared for it" – Coach Stotts on @dame_lillard pulling up from half-court in a game. 😂
— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) April 21, 2020
Lillard already leads the league in long threes and shot distance. He’s canning his 3-pointers at a 39.4% clip, tying the career-high he set in his second season, but doing it at a much heavier volume.
The point guard is also averaging a career-high in points (28.9 per game) and assists (7.8), putting the Blazers on his back during this rollercoaster that the 2019-20 season has been.
If Lillard starts pulling up from half court and making those shots consistently enough, it will add yet another layer of difficulty when it comes to guarding him, forcing the defense to extend even further out.
Stotts might not buy it quite fully, but even he can’t argue with results if Lillard continues to live up to his nickname.