Reggie Miller to Clippers: Beware of Damian Lillard

first_imgMcCollum, in just his third season, played only 24 minutes in the playoffs in 2013-14. Lillard is in his fourth season and has 16 playoff games under his belt.Paul and Redick have 65 and 75, respectively.“To think that J.J. Redick and Chris Paul can’t figure out ways to manipulate those guys over the course of this series while they play with that chip on the shoulder, I just think that could be the difference,” said Barry, who played his first 2 1/2 seasons for the Clippers.That chip Barry speaks of comes from the Clippers never having advanced past the second round of the playoffs.Austin Rivers on LillardBackup Clippers guard Austin Rivers intimated his team knows what it is up against with Lillard.“They can score the ball,” he said of the Trail Blazers. “They’ve got one of the best players in the game — Damian Lillard. We’re going to have our hands full with him and they have a really good cast around him, so we’ve really got to try to slow him down and make them defend us.”Lillard is averaging 25.1 points — sixth in the league — 6.8 assists and 4.0 rebounds. McCollum is averaging 20.7 points.Paul and Redick average 19.5 and 16.3 points, respectively. Paul averages 10.0 assists, fourth in the league. Redick shot 47.5 percent (200 of 421) from 3-point range.The Clippers went 3-1 against Portland during the regular season. Lillard averaged 18 points, but he scored just seven in one loss after playing only 17 minutes because of a stomach issue. He shot just 32.4 percent (24 of 74) over the four games.SCHEDULE(All times local)Sun, April 17: Portland at Clippers, 7:30 p.m., TNTWed, April 20: Portland at Clippers, 7:30 p.m., TNTSat, April 23: Clippers at Portland, 7:30 p.m., ESPNMon, April 25: Clippers at Portland, 7:30 p.m., TNT*Wed, April 27: Portland at Clippers, TBD*Fri, April 29: Clippers at Portland, TBD*Sun, May 1: Portland at Clippers, TBD*If necessary Reggie Miller believes Clippers point guard Chris Paul is “the best floor general” in the NBA.But if the Hall of Fame guard and current TNT analyst were a Clippers fan, he’d be worried about Portland point guard Damian Lillard.“There was a stretch run that Damian Lillard had post All-Star break when he was he was slighted — when he definitely should have been an All-Star — when you were mentioning him in the same breath as Steph Curry. He had that type of run,” Miller said Thursday morning when discussing the first-round Western Conference playoff matchup between the fourth-seeded Clippers (53-29) and fifth-seeded Trail Blazers (44-38).The teams begin their best-of-seven series at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Staples Center (on TNT). After not being selected to the All-Star team, Lillard averaged 33.5 points over the first 11 games following the break. He scored at least 50 points twice and also had a 41-point game that included 11 assists. He scored 51 during a 137-105 drubbing of Golden State on Feb. 19, the first game out of the break. He had six steals and seven assists, as well.Not only is the Paul-Lillard matchup intriguing, throw in the Clippers’ J.J. Redick and Portland’s C.J. McCollum, and the backcourt battle figures to play a large role in this series.Analyst Brent Barry, who played 14 seasons in the NBA, is impressed with Portland’s guard tandem. He said McCollum was “awesome” in the Trail Blazers’ first-round playoff series loss to Memphis a year ago. The Grizzlies won in five games, but McCollum averaged 17 points.Still, Barry believes the postseason experience factor will work in the Clippers’ favor. “I know come playoff time, guys like Chris Paul and J.J. Redick, who have been there before, they know all the tricks,” Barry said. “There is not a thing they haven’t seen yet in their playoff careers.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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