Apr 14, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Portland Trailblazers guard Damian Lillard (0) during the first half against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard wants less minutes

2012-2013 NBA Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard is concerned with the amount of minutes he was forced to play for the Portland Trailblazers last season.

Lillard led the NBA in minutes played at 3,176 overall.  To say Portland’s bench was thin in 2012 is a gross understatement, but Trailblazers GM Neil Olshey hopes to have cured that ailment.

Sometimes when you’re out there (playing) so many minutes, your body can wear down,” Lillard told USA TODAY Sports. “So you’re not always productive at the highest levels because you might be worn down.”

The additions of No. 10 overall pick C.J. McCollum out of Lehigh and NBA veteran point guard Mo Williams should give Lillard much needed rest.

Williams averaged 12.9 points and 6.2 assists a game for Utah in 2012-2013, while McCollum averaged close to 24 points per game for mid-major Lehigh.  For a Portland bench that ranked last in minutes, points, rebounds, and assists any help is welcome.

In addition to McCollum and Mo Williams, the Trailblazers brought in center Robin Lopez, point guard Earl Watson, power forward  and 2011 #5 pick Thomas Robinson, forward Dorell Wright, and draftee Allen Crabbe out of Cal to help shore up the substandard second unit.

For a team that finished 11th in the Western Conference, Portland needed some changes and some backup for their budding young star.  Time will tell if it’s enough to get them over-the-hump and back to the playoffs after a 2-year drought.



Tags: C.J. McCollum Damian Lillard NBA NBA Free Agency NBA Playoffs Portland Trail Blazers Portland Trailblazers Rookie Of The Year

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