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Draymond Green’s sage wisdom to Damian Lillard sparks big game in Team USA’s win over Iran

Team USA, Draymond Green, Damian Lillard

Team USA star Damian Lillard had an uncharacteristically awful game in the loss to France to open the Tokyo Olympics. Lillard only had 11 points on 3-of-10 shooting and turned down shots he normally takes and makes with ease in the NBA. He also had an embarrassing turnover late in the game to help seal the defeat.

Lillard made sure it was a different story in Team USA’s latest tilt against Iran.

Lillard came out firing from deep and scored 18 of his 21 points in the first half of a 120-66 shellacking. He got up 13 triples and made seven of them in the dominant performance, and he evidently got some wise words from Draymond Green that helped inspire him.

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Via Joe Vardon of The Athletic:

“Draymond was just like ‘Damian Lillard doesn’t hesitate to shoot the ball,’” Lillard said.

“He was just like, ‘that’s not what you do. Like, you knock those types of shots down, and that’s what we needed you to do at that moment.’ You passing up opportunities like that doesn’t serve this team well,’” Lillard said. “We spoke about it and it was simple. I just said ‘I should have shot it and it won’t happen again. I’m gonna come correct going forward.”

While Green was removed from the starting lineup for this game, he’s still an extremely important player because of his leadership. It seemed clear some of the Americans have been hesitant to be too aggressive because they don’t want to appear selfish, but sometimes a little selfishness is necessary.

This game doesn’t mean all that much because it was only against Iran, but it still had to feel good for Lillard and Team USA to get on the right track with an easy win after the disappointment against France. Up next is a battle against the Czech Republic that will determine if the Americans get out of Group A.