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LeBron agrees with everyone else: Damian Lillard is Rookie of the Year

Jan 10, 2013, 10:55 AM EDT

Damian Lillard, Isaiah Thomas AP

There’s a little more than half a season to go, so nothing is set in stone.

But the one post-season award that seems most set is Damian Lillard winning the Rookie of the Year. Don’t take my word for it, ask LeBron James, whose Heat face Lillard and the Blazers on Thursday night. From the Oregonian:

LeBron James dubbed Lillard the Rookie of the Year.

“He’s never out of his comfort zone,” James said of Lillard Wednesday. “He’s never too fast; he’s never too slow. He plays in his own lane.”

Lillard has stepped into the starting point guard role in Portland, averaging 18.2 points and 6.5 assists per game, while shooting 35.4 percent from three. What’s more, he has stepped into a real leadership role on the Blazers, a guy his teammates clearly trust and someone who has knocked down clutch shots for them.

That said, his defense has been atrocious. I’d say the Heat can exploit that, but then again I’ve seen their point guards.

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