Damian Lillard came into the NBA as the sixth pick of the 2012 NBA Draft and he instantly made his presence felt. After winning the Rookie of the Season award, the 23-year old point guard is continuing to be impressive this season. Not only has he emerged as a star and a co-leader for the Portland Trail Blazers, alongside LaMarcus Aldridge, but he has led his team to a surprising course this season.
Lillard is gradually emerging as an elite scorer, shooter but also a clutch performer. In fact, he is earning his spot in the elite of point guards in the NBA. It’s fair to say, that the 23-year old Weber State product is gradually emerging as a superstar in the league. Of course, he will need to continue and deliver with consistency. But up to now, his performance is only going upwards.
After several solid performances since we entered 2014, Damian Lillard put up a career-best 41-point performance in a game against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night. Not only that, but Lillard does all his scoring while shooting at very good rates. We don’t see often second-year players who stand out of the rest of their class putting up 21.9 points per contest, while shooting 42.5 percent from the floor and 44.8 percent from three-point range.
Lillard does all that plus much more.
He has already hit several game-winners this season, giving the Blazers significant victories. His defense is also solid, although it’s an area Lillard could see much improvement. But for a 23-year old second-year player, such leader-like performances can be nothing but impressive. At the moment, Lillard is certainly a top-5 point guard in the league. Judging from the way his production has exploded as of lately, we could fairly say that the sky is the limit for him.
Of course, the competition at the point guard position is huge for Damian Lillard. In order for a young emerging point guard to reach the elite level, he will have to face monster players like Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul but also established veterans like Tony Parker. In addition, this season we’ve seen Stephen Curry and John Wall improve their performances. That’s why, the way to the top is not laid with roses for Damian Lillard.
Nevertheless, he has definitely made his name heard around the NBA world. There is no doubt that Lillard is one of the hottest, the fastest-emerging players currently in the NBA. And with major stars facing injuries, like Derrick Rose, Westbrook and new also Chris Paul, maybe this is the perfect time for Lillard to put a strong foundation for his future and his place in the top-point guard rankings.
Of course, the success of the Portland Trail Blazers is yet another factor that benefits Lillard’s emergence. Stars always gain more momentum when their team is performing well and in Damian Lillard’s case, the Blazers have been surging this season.
Sooner or later, Lillard will be accepted as a true superstar by the majority of people around the league.
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