Thorpe: Lillard Makes It Look Easy
By DHawes22 Posted in: Blazers
ESPN's David Thorpe recently revealed how he ranked the Top 10 rookies
after the first week of the NBA season. To no surprise, Damian Lillard is sitting at the head of the class. And here's why ...
There are many things Lillard is doing that are impressive, which we will be discussing at length all season. But what jumps out at me as I watch film on him is his patience and his willingness to think about the 5-on-5 game rather than the 1-on-1 game that so many point guards end up focusing on.
Thorpe reiterates Lillard's team-oriented style in a detailed break-down of a play ran between he and Nicolas Batum during Portland's game on the road in Dallas.
As Lillard squared up at the top of the key against Carter, who was playing high school basketball when Lillard was still in diapers, it looked like Lillard was going to try to take the slower Carter to the rim. But instead Lillard recognized that the Batum-Collison matchup might be the better option. So he patiently allowed Batum to body up Collison. Then in an instant, Batum faked moving up the floor and went backdoor, where Lillard easily hit him in stride. The play resulted in a nice dunk by Batum. Great players make great plays seem routine, and that is what Lillard is doing in this league already.
Forgive me for saying this, but I felt the exact same way watching Brandon Roy during his All-Star years (the right-to-left hand lay-up against the Raptors, anyone?
) as I do watching Lillard. To me, that is the true sign of a superstar. Nothing seems to faze the rookie. Not going up against a former MVP winner in his NBA debut, not having the weight of a franchise on his shoulders, and not even being dubbed "the franchise point guard" by the team's General Manager. And in case you missed it or somehow forget, this is how easy Dame makes it look on a nightly basis. Enjoy.