Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dime Magazine Profiles Damian Lillard

Dime Magazine has put up a solid NBA draft profile of former Weber State guard Damian Lillard, and I was happy to be able to contribute with my view on his NBA potential.

"At times last season, Damian Lillard looked like a man amongst boys in the Big Sky - his best was simply better than other people's best. He missed most of the 2010-11 season with a foot injury, and he used the time off to get stronger and faster, earning rave reviews for his time in the weight room. His range starts the minute he steps on the court, and he shot 41% from beyond the arc, making just about three per game. His offensive game is far more than just launching threes, however. He is adept at getting into the lane (and is a strong finisher) and getting to the charity stripe, as he shot over eight free throws per game last year (making 89% of his attempts). He will play PG in the pros, and he has the skill set for that. He averaged four assists per game, and was a willing passer. Among all elite PGs in the country last year, his turnover rate was among the best. Defensively, he is average, but he has the athletic ability to get better. He may draw comparisons to Rodney Stuckey, because of the Big Sky ties, but he is more skilled (though less athletic) than Stuckey. He is not a natural point a la Kendall Marshall, but he could be the first one off the board because he knows how to score, and he should be ready to step in and contribute from day one."
Lillard is projected to be a lottery pick in this June’s draft, and could go in the top 10. He is widely expected to be the first point guard off the board, thanks to his NBA readiness and versatile scoring skills (especially from deep range on his jumpshot).

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