Damian Lillard heaps praise on Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons: 'He's blowing the roof off the place'

Damian Lillard heaps praise on Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons: 'He's blowing the roof off the place'

Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers entered the season projected to finish in the bottom half of the standings, but after the first four games, they’re far from it. 

Following a 135-110 win over the Denver Nuggets, the Blazers are now the only undefeated team remaining in the league, with a 4-0 record — the first time they’ve been 4-0 since 1999. 

Fresh off being named Western Conference Player of the Week, Damian Lillard continued his hot start to the season, pouring in 31 points, eight assists and six rebounds, coming off back-to-back 41-point performances against the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers. 

Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)

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After playing just 29 games last season due to an abdominal issue, Lillard is healthy and has the Trail Blazers firing as the surprise team of the season so far. 

Anfernee Simons has arrived

With CJ McCollum’s departure to New Orleans last season, the Blazers put their faith in Anfernee Simons, signing the 23-year-old to a four-year, $100 million deal and the livewire guard has immediately repaid their faith.

Simons poured in 29 points in the win on 11-of-17 from the field and 7-of-12 from the 3-point line, but it was his third-quarter inferno that had everyone talking.

After scoring seven points in the first half, Simons went off for 22 points in the period, draining all six of his 3-point attempts — a performance Lillard described as “explosive and fun.”

“I was looking around at the crowd like, ‘Man, this is crazy. He’s blowing the roof off the place.’… It was special to watch,” Lillard said.

Simons’ scorching performance also caught the attention of LeBron James. 

“The whole coaching staff and all the players told me to keep shooting,” Simons said postgame.

“At that point, you’re just shooting it blindly, I’m just trying to get up as many as I can…it was fun.”

The Blazers will look to continue their fast start, but they face a tough stretch in their next six games, playing the Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns twice, with a matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies in between.