Damian Lillard on Anthony Davis and the Rookie of the Year race
The Rookie of the Year race has two clear front-runners, Damian Lillard and Anthony Davis. With the two meeting head-to-head for the first time tomorrow, all eyes are on the battle that’ll ensue and Lillard knows it, though he’s not stressing himself out over the attention.
“I just focus on myself when the game comes,” Lillard said. “I’m sure every little thing that happens they’ll make it seem like it’s me going up against him, but I’m just trying to win the game.
“I know he’s gonna be trying to hunt all my shots,” Lillard said. “I know that he’s the person, that it’s me and him is what everybody says. But like I said, I just try to focus on what I do. The more I think about the Rookie of the Year and everything that everybody else is talking about then my head is in the wrong place.”
Head Coach Terry Stotts is excited to see the two perform as well, “It’s not like they’re playing against [matched up] each other,” he said. “But to have two of the top rookies on the floor at once, I think it’ll be fun to watch them. It’s hard to compare them, Damian will probably drive in and Davis will go after his shot, so it’ll whether he makes it or not, whether he gets blocked or not, we’ll see. Maybe draw a foul, you never know.”
Injury Updates on Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum and Will Barton
Wesley Matthews did not practice fully with the team today but was out on the floor working individually. His status for tomorrow’s game against the Hornets will be determined tomorrow after more rest and re-evaluation.
“I’m close, man, close,” Matthews said. “I did a lot today actually. I warmed up with the team, did the three-man weave then mainly I was with Jay just playing one-on-one basically.. I was getting shot up, I was running at game speed, cutting, trying to turn and all that good stuff. It’s close, a few things that still aggravate it. It’s gonna be a tough call tomorrow. You know me, if I can play through it I want to do it, but that [three more days of rest] could get me to 100-percent. Do I play at 82 or do I go to 100? I don’t know.”
Nicolas Batum practiced today and says his back is still feeling 50 to 60-percent of normal. He continues to see the chiropractor and receive treatment daily to get back to full strength as soon as possible.
Will Barton didn’t practice today after having an ingrown toenail taken care of yesterday.
Joel Freeland and Victor Claver will return from the Idaho Stampede tomorrow
Freeland and Claver we’re assigned to the Idaho Stampede yesterday to play last night and tonight. Freeland played 38 minutes, scored 22 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and dished four assists. Claver payer 39 minutes, put up 11 points, 9 rebounds and racked up 5 steals.
Both will return to Portland in time for tomorrow night’s game against the New Orleans Hornets. “They’ll be back tomorrow,” Stotts said. “We have a shootaround at 3:30pm so they’ll be, I think they get back into town at 10:00 or 11:00am. So they’ll be here.”