NBA Draft Profile: Damian Lillard
- Updated: May 12, 2012
By: Kels Dayton
6-3, 195 lbs.
Hometown: Oakland, CA
School: Weber State
STRENGTHS: Pile on the mashed potatoes. And an extra chicken wing. Damian Lillard did a little bit of everything for Weber State last season. (Our apologies for the obscure Dawes reference).
The 6-3 guard led the nation in scoring for nearly the entire the year, averaging 24.5 points per game and finishing just behind Oakland’s Reggie Hamilton for the national scoring title. Lillard also pulled down 5.1 rebounds and dished out 4 assists per contest, leading the Wildcats to a 25-7 record and an appearance in the Big Sky championship game. Lillard is lightning-quick, has an Alicia Keys-smooth jump shot, and the enviable ability to make defenders miss like few others in this draft class. He shot a blistering 46 percent from the field and showed ridiculous athleticism and the ability to score from anywhere on the floor. (Just take a look at the video below).
WEAKNESSES: It’s a long way from the Big Sky to the NBA. Weber State didn’t face much big-time competition this season, and Lillard scored just 14 points on 4-of-17 shooting in the one game he did play against a major conference team (a 77-57 loss to Cal in December). He’s also just one year removed from breaking a bone in his right foot, an injury that cost him much of the 2011 season. Durability will be an issue in the NBA because Lillard is small, and needs to add serious muscle if he wants to bang bodies with the NBA’s goliaths in the lane.
BOTTOM LINE: Lillard is probably tall enough (6-3) to play the 2-guard in the league, but he’s also skilled enough to run the point and facilitate for others if necessary. He’s going to be a lottery pick because of his athleticism and ability to score the ball, but also because he’s shown he can do it all at the point. If Lillard can add 20-25 pounds of muscle and stay out of the trainer’s room, he has the potential to be a starting point guard in the league for years to come.
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