Another player who has met and exceeded expectations is Damian Lillard. In his first few games at the NBA level, the Portland rookie point guard has proven he is savvy beyond his years in multiple areas:
In Saturday’s impressive come-from-behind 95-85 overtime win at Houston, Lillard sparked Portland from all angles with 20 points on an efficient 8-15 shooting, with nine dimes and six boards in 42 minutes.
Let’s cut to the chase: This rookie does a lot of things very well:
Three-Point Shooting: Lillard has range for days, which he highlighted with a deep trey-ball against the Lakers in his first few minutes of pro playing time last week.
Shooting off the Bounce: Lillard has excellent rhythm and above-average elevation off the bounce, especially in the…
Mid-Range: The rookie has a knack for finding open space and pulling up at the right times. Lillard is extremely advanced in this area.
Bounce Passes: In the above highlight against Houston, Lillard used eight bounce passes (most in pick-and-roll situations) to spoon-feed his teammates. Bounce passes are vital to setting up teammates, and Lillard has a quick trigger which is utilized to make plays smoother and more efficient. LaMarcus Aldridge is going to owe the young buck a few dinners for all the easy mid-range jumpers he’s going to receive.
The tweets below help to further review Lillard’s impressive beginnings:
We’re going to scout him more intensely as the season goes on, but Lillard has looked sharp as the floor general for the Blazers. If he continues to post numbers (21.3 ppg, 9 apg, 4 rpg) throughout the season, Anthony Davis will have some company in the chase for Rookie of the Year.