This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The Portland Trail Blazers won't make the playoffs, but rookie sensation Damian Lillard isn't ready to give up on the rest of the season.
Lillard, the No. 6 overall pick in last year's draft out of Weber State, visits EnergySolutions Arena Monday night for a game against the Jazz.
Portland, which has lost four in a row, is 33-40 with nine games remaining.
Lillard admits the Blazers' chances of making the playoffs are "slim and none," but he expects them the play hard down the stretch.
"... I think it's been a productive year," Lillard said after the Blazers morning shoot-around. "We just need to finish strong. After the type of season we've had, I don't think we should just let it go because we're probably not going to make the playoffs. We need to finish strong and try to get some momentum going into next season."
Asked about the ice bag strapped to his right shoulder, he said, "I'm fine. I just got hit."
Lillard is likely to be the NBA's Rookie of the Year. He averages 19.1 points and 6.5 assists while shooting 37 percent from the three-point line.