Damian Lillard has found out how different things are for offensive players in the NBA and international basketball. The Portland Trail Blazers star is trying to win the gold medal in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, struggling to find his touch with the national squad.
Hours before the gold-medal game against France, Lillard reflected on this short yet exciting journey. Like Luka Doncic claimed a couple of years ago, Dame confirmed that scoring in the association is much easier than in FIBA basketball.
Talking with Mikey Domagala of Inside Buzz, the All-Star point guard discussed the differences between playing for your club and national team.
"I can see why," Lillard said on Luka claiming it's easier to score in the association. "Best scorers in the NBA score from three and get fouled in FIBA, not as many foul calls; more physical. Also, no defensive 3 seconds so the paint is more crowded and refs don't blow the whistle. It's hard. There's so many things that allow scoring to be easier in the NBA."
Dame and co. will try to get their revenge on France tonight. Team USA lost the first game of the tournament against the European, blowing a lead in the last minutes of the game. Lillard explained that that game was a wake-up call for them and showed them that this is serious.
"We were up 7... We lost control of the game and eased off the gas. That was a game that put our backs against the wall and made us lock in harder; our urgency went up; our minds and hearts got into it a little bit more. 'It's on now.' I was kind of a wake-up call."
Now Team USA has a mission against France. They're looking for revenge for the 2019 FIBA World Cup and the tournament opener. After a false start, the squad got together, improved their level, and now are about to win the gold medal.