If Damian Lillard wishes to take his game to extraordinary heights, Hall of Fame point guard Gary Payton believes that in order to do so the Portland Trail Blazers’ franchise point guard must become serious about his defense.

And if he is serious about it, Payton suggests that he take the approach of one of Lillard’s rivals, one whom he has some history with, to say the least.

“He can be like Patrick Beverley [of the Houston Rockets] if he wants to, but that’s a mindset,” Payton told CSNNW.com Thursday night at American AirlinesArena. “I think Damian has to be willing and ready to play that type of way. Right now, he’s scoring so easily and he’s so good at the offensive end, he doesn’t have to think about defense. He doesn’t have to think about it because he knows he can outscore somebody.

“He can have 35 [points] when he wants to and that’s where the game is going right now. But we have to get that out his mindset. If he wants to be a two-way guard and have his name in a legacy for being that way, he has to step it up on the defensive end.”

The Glove is never shy about telling you what he thinks. To be fair, Lillard’s defense has improved and his development in that area is something that he takes very seriously. The team’s defensive scheme had a part to play, too.

Payton was supposed to work with Lillard on his defense last summer, but his obligations as an analyst for FOX Sports 1 along with Lillard’s busy offseason did not allow for each of their schedules to align. Who better to learn from than Payton on how to become a better defender? You would think that getting in the gym with a nine-time All-NBA Defensive First Teamer would do the trick.