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Trail Blazers vow disappointing finish will fuel resolve for next season

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    Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard sits on the floor after losing the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, April 17, 2013. Lillard scored 21 points as the Warriors won 99-88. (AP Photo/Don Ryan) (The Associated Press)

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    Portland Trail Blazers fans hold up signs in the final moments of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, April 17, 2013. The Warriors won 99-88.(AP Photo/Don Ryan) (The Associated Press)

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    Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts calls signals from the bench during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, April 17, 2013. The Warriors won 99-88. (AP Photo/Don Ryan) (The Associated Press)

While the Portland Trail Blazers' season certainly wasn't what the team had hoped for, there is reason for optimism.

Point guard Damian Lillard led all NBA rookies with an average of 19 points and 6.5 assists. He broke the rookie record for 3-pointers with 185, and he led the entire league in minutes with 3,167.

He was named NBA Rookie of the Month for each of the first five months of the season.

Lillard's play was the bright spot in a season that ended with a 13-game losing streak, leaving the Blazers out of the playoffs for the second straight season.

Portland was in contention for the postseason even after the All-Star break, but injuries and the lack of experienced depth hurt the team in the end.

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