DHawes22

Sep 24

Aldridge: Lillard Is A 'Must Watch'

By DHawes22 Posted in: Blazers, damianlillard
David Aldridge, writer for NBA.com and "cousin" to our own LaMarcus, put together his Top 10 "must-watch" storylines heading into training camp. He touches on how George Karl will find different ways to utilize Andre Iguodala, wanting to see Brandon Roy on the court again, and getting a full season out of Steph Curry among others. But with the NBA at his fingertips and a plethora of angles to pursue, what was his most anticipated story heading into the 2012-13 season? None other than our own Damian Lillard!

Can't Wait ... to see Damian Lillard play for the Blazers. Just have a feeling that the Blazers' first first-round pick is going to be a pretty dynamic player. He is a rarity in our 500-channel universe: a lottery pick that wasn't on TV five times a week at Weber State. He's going to be as exciting a first-year player as there is.

This coming on the heels of DIME magazine releasing their Top 10 players who they believe will shape the future generation of basketball.

All the talk about the weak competition he faced in college dissipated as he absolutely destroyed his NBA opponents, dropping 23 points and seven assists in his debut, followed by 31 and seven, 27 and three, and 25 and four.

But Lillard’s place on this list isn’t so much about his basketball potential as it is his path to the NBA. It’s been a while since a truly small school produced such a high-caliber player, and nowadays it’s rare to see top players stay in school for more than two seasons. If Lillard does succeed in the league, he may give confidence and assurance to prospects considering smaller schools outside of the Big Six conferences, and let them know that staying for a few years of college doesn’t hurt either.

Needless to say, if expectations weren't high enough for the rookie out of Weber State, they are out of this stratosphere right now. But he'll have his shot right out of the gate to live up to the hype as the Trail Blazers take on the Lakers, Thunder, Rockets, Clippers, and Spurs in an 11-day span to kick off the season. What that means for Dame is head-to-head matchups against Steve Nash, Russell Westbrook, Jeremy Lin, Chris Paul, and Tony Parker. That's only two Most Valuable Player awards and 19 total combined All-Star appearances between the group. No big deal. Talk about jumping into the deep end, feet first. But if any rookie is ready to take on the gantlet, it's Lillard. And like the media, Rip City can't wait to see what's in store.

3 Comments

  1. Love seeing Lillard get some ink before the season starts. I think he's going to take the expectations and pressure and thrive! For a true pt guard, I'm really glad he spent 4 years in college...that usually translates to NBA ready and mentally he's already there.

    by riverman on 9/24/2012 1:08 PM
  2. @ riverman, I'm w/ ya on all that u r sayin'! :) I'm VERY excited about Lillard & OUR Blazers; like u said riverman, I too believe he'll b able to handle "the expectations and pressure and thrive" but to all the Blazer fans & every1 else out there, let's make it/take it easy on our guy; the kind of guy he is (he will b the 1 that puts the most pressure on himself), he doesn't need added pressure from us fans/media/pundits, he needs our support. He may have come to us a 4 yr. guy & his maturity/poise/knowledge of the game are all exceptional already but he's still a young man finally getting to realize his dream of playing against the best in the world; let's all b excited but @ the same time patient, sit back & enjoy the ride w/ him & let him have some fun/breathe & let him live out his dream in front of our eyes! :)

    by Simpson on 9/24/2012 1:58 PM
  3. It is best to get the growing pains at the first of the season. He will make mistakes, he will get burnt and feel hopeless at times, but if he stays positive it will all be for the best. Besides, he has been an underdog his whole life so I am sure he will strive to perfection.

    by Hg on 9/24/2012 3:48 PM
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