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Video: Watch Damian Lillard go off for 29 against Spurs

Dec 14, 2012, 9:53 AM EDT

That right there is why Damian Lillard has separated himself in the early Rookie of the Year, talk. Well, that and Anthony Davis‘ injury, but mostly this.

Lillard was matched up with Tony Parker and went off for 29 points on 11-of-22 shooting. What he shows is a maturity to his game we often don’t see from young point guards, an understanding of when to shoot, when to pull up and reset, when to pass. It’s not just the four years of college that helped with that, it’s years as the primary playmaker for his college team that forced him to make decisions like this. The players are bigger and faster now, but the decision process is similar.

That is a polished and fundamentally sound player (good shooting stroke, great use of changes of speed to create space). He’s going to be a star in this league.

  1. therealroman - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    Seriously, this kid can play. He’s got one of the nicest strokes I’ve seen a rookie shoot with in a long time. He’s very athletic, high basketball I.Q. for his age and he pays attention to the fundementals. Shooting the ball, reading defensive sets, using the pick and roll, playing very tough D himself. I see a lot of potential in him, by far I am no talent scout or anything but comparing his game to Westbrook’s, I think Lilliard has potential to be better than Russ. Not saying he is right now (that’d be rediculous), but he’s got such a solid basis thx to his work ethic and his jump shot, he’s gonna be incredible. I feel like he’s a potential leader too, a lot more calm and poised than Russel

    • borderline1988 - Dec 14, 2012 at 11:30 AM

      Russel Westbrook is a different player…Westbrook is a tremendously dynamic and explosive athlete, much more so than Lilliard.

      Lilliard is a better game manager, but is not nearly as dynamic. Lilliard looks like a better version of Jrue Holiday.
      Lilliard will be very good, but it’s too early to tell how far he will go.

  2. therealroman - Dec 14, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Don’t underestimate lilliard’s athleticism though! Russel didn’t jump as high as he does now when he came to the league! not even blake did so obviously through added strength, muscle and weight, athleticism can still be improved.
    All i’m saying is that, also judging from the times i’ve seen him speak, it just seems to me like he’s more mature, just maybe a little smarter overall than russel. also, i think his game is just more overall sound. he doesn’t need to work on his jumper for years, he already got it. he doesn’t need to understand how to get his guys in scoring positions, he’s doing it right now. i think obviously, he’s only gonna get better and seeing how well overall he’s playing right now, that’s almost a scary thought….unless you’re a Portland fand

    • nderdog - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      No, it’s a scary thought for us Portland fans, too. See: Brandon Roy, Greg Oden, etc. Drexler was probably the last great Blazer that was able to really reach his full potential, and even then he had to go to Houston for a championship.

    • saint1997 - Dec 15, 2012 at 2:18 AM

      good point with the Westbrook progression. A lot of people seem to forget that when rookies come to the nba they’re still young. Paul george kept growing into his 2nd year!

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