Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Damian Lillard: Game Changer?

Damian Lillard. Image from College Life.
Damian Lillard is a rookie making loud noise in the NBA. Damian Lillard is sharp on both sides of the ball, can play off the ball offensively and has poise reminiscent of Derrick Rose. Scott Hastings of Altitude TV compared Damian Lillard to a mix of Isaiah Thomas and Stephen Curry.

Still doubt that rookie Damian Lillard is legit? Try telling that to Blazers head coach Terry Stotts. Damian Lillard's usage percentage, per NBA.com, is 23.6%. That means Lillard is involved in almost a fourth of the Blazers plays.

For a team with LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicholas Batum, that says a lot. Damian Lillard sets the tone for the Blazers. He gets them into their offense and can create for himself.

Damian Lillard is a dynamic guard who has a long way to go, but certainly has played to please. Where can Damian Lillard improve?

Damian Lillard needs to work on his defense and strength.

While defending at the guard position in the NBA is never an easy task, there are times when Damian Lillard gets light up by the opponents PG. While great defense can always be beaten by better offense, there's no reason Lillard couldn't tighten up his defensive fundamentals. Rotating to the open man, boxing out the shooter at the free throw line and communicating on pick and roll defense are all keys. The little nuances of defense are what Lillard must gain experience in.

Damian Lillard can already finish despite contact. He's shown the ability to do that which is fantastic. To continue climbing up the mountain, Damian Lillard should add five, maybe ten pounds of muscle to start bangin' even more! If he adds more muscle, he could even start posting up small guards. Russell Westbrook came into the league not getting into the post much at all, but he's added that to his game. Who's to say Damian Lillard couldn't?

Damian Lillard is a guy to watch. He plays the game the right way and is in a terrific situation with the Blazers. What's the limit? Only Damian Lillard knows! Keep your eyes peeled on Damian Lillard. It's clear Damian Lillard is a game changer.

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