Damian Lillard after latest playoff loss: Beating the Warriors has become an obsession

Apr 22, 2017; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) looks down in the second half of game three of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs against the Golden State Warriors at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers were absolutely destroyed by the Golden State Warriors in a win or go home Game 4 matchup on Monday night. At one point late in the first quarter, Portland found itself down by the score of 41-13.

It was the latest blowout loss in a two-year span that has seen Lillard fail to lead his team to competitiveness against his home-town squad. It also sent the Blazers packing after a four-game series sweep in which Golden State won by an average of 18 points per game.

Clearly frustrated by the outcome of the short series, Lillard didn’t hold back from providing an assessment of what is going through his mind as he prepares for the offseason.

“You have to be obsessed with that because you know that they’re (the Warriors) so good that they’re going to be there,” Lillard said after Game 4’s 25-point loss, via ESPN. “That’s who you’re going to have to get through to get to where you want to get to. That’s what it is.”

For his part, Lillard is the only member of the Blazers that actually showed up in front of their home crowd on Monday. He scored 34 points on 12-of-24 shooting. Fellow star guard C.J. McCollum went 2-of-12 from the field and failed to score in the first half.

Lillard knows that beating the Warriors will take more than him performing at a high clip. Though, Portland simply doesn’t have the supporting cast to stay with an elite team. That’s evidenced by the 10 consecutive games this squad has lost to the Warriors dating back to last year’s playoffs. Those 10 games have seen Portland defeated by a combined 160 points.

It will surely be interesting to see what Portland does during the summer to bridge the gap between itself and the top teams out west. It has two elite-level players in Lillard and McCollum. After that, there’s not much to write home about. That came out in droves during the team’s four-game sweep at the hands of the Warriors this year.