Damian Lillard
Photo: David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Portland Trail Blazers are having a slow start to the season. After seven games, they find themselves with 3 wins and 4 losses, most recently losing to the Philadelphia 76ers.

One of the reasons why Portland is struggling is a slump of Damian Lillard’s performances. The 31-year-old star point guard is averaging 18.3 points per game, which is significantly lower than the 28.8 points per game he averaged last season.

He is making 34.9% of his field goals as opposed to 45.1% last year. Lillard’s shooting struggle is even more apparent when looking at his three-pointers. He went down from 39.1% last season to just 23.2% this year. Despite the slump, Lillard views this as a challenge.

Via Tim Bontemps of ESPN:

“And, me personally, I love when those opportunities present themselves. Because when I am riding high and when I do get smoking hot and when I get going people are going to look at it and be like, ‘We remember when you were struggling and you didn’t shy away from it.’ I think it will be more respect for the success when they see how you handle failure and how you handle struggle.

“So, personally, I embrace that. It’s not fun. It’s not easy but it’s part of my DNA. That’s how I got to this position. I’m not angry about it. I’m frustrated with it. I do see it as a challenge and it’s one I accept and I know I’ll come out on top like I always do.”