Damian Lillard Says 'You Have to Be Obsessed' to Beat Warriors

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2017

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 22:  Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers stands on the court against the Golden State Warriors in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on April 22, 2017 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sam Forencich/Getty Images

Following the Portland Trail Blazers' 128-103 playoff-elimination loss to the Golden State Warriors on Monday, Blazers guard Damian Lillard expressed the need to be "obsessed" in order to take down the Dubs.

According to ESPN.com's Chris Haynes, Lillard said: "You have to be obsessed with that because you know that they're so good that they're going to be there. 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."

Lillard had a strong series individually with averages of 27.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists, but Portland lost three of the four games by at least 12 points, even with Kevin Durant missing two contests.

While the Blazers' 2016-17 season is over, Lillard knows they'll eventually have to figure out how to beat the Warriors.

"You also got to understand that if you ever want to get out the West, you're going to have to go through them," Lillard said. "And for me, I understand that's what it is. It's always been that way in the NBA. I think about when the [Detroit] Pistons were just beating up on [Michael] Jordan. [They] were just kicking his butt every year, and he had to get through them if he wanted to get to where he wanted to get to. That's just what it is."

He continued: "[The Warriors are] going to be there. They're going to be there every year. We have to look at that and understand that we got to be better. We have to go get better and come back better as a group if we want to move past them."

Portland has been ousted from the playoffs by Golden State in consecutive seasons, posting a 1-8 record.

The Warriors are the two-time defending Western Conference champions, and although the competition is stout this year (Spurs, Rockets, Jazz), they are favored to make it three in a row.

Portland has made four consecutive playoff appearances and has a strong foundation in Lillard, CJ McCollum and center Jusuf Nurkic, but it remains one of many teams not near Golden State's level.

 
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