FanPost

Damian Lillard - Rookie season 10% done. Where does he rank?

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Damian Lillard: How impressive is this kid?

I wanted to look at two particular moments so far in Lillard's NBA career: after 3 games, and today after 8 games.

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Damian Lillard has 3 consecutive 20 point/7 assist games to open his career.

List of players who have opened their career with 3 consecutive 20 point/7 assist games:
* Oscar Robertson and Damian Lillard.

So, who cares?

Just a lucky 3 game streak; I mean, he's only had 1 more game with 20pts/7ass during the last 5 games.

List of players who had 3 consecutive 20 point/7 assist games over all of last season(2011-12): (9 players)

* Lebron James, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Monta Ellis, Goran Dragic, Kyle Lowry, Jeremy Lin.


Okay, so out of every NBA player last year, just 9 players were capable of putting together 3 consecutive 20 pt/7 ass games.

Anywhere in those 66 regular season games, 3 consecutive 20 point/7assist games. Just 9 players unlocked that achievement last season.

This season, only Kyrie Irving has also strung together 3 consecutive 20pt/7ass games along-side Lillard.

AND, Lillard did this in his first 3 NBA games.

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R: "Steve Nash. Kobe Bryant and the L@kers. First game, worried?"

"Nah? How different can it be?

Same court. Same distances. Same motions.

What should I be worried about?

I handle me; no one can stop me.

I mean, close your eyes. Everything you can physically feel is you; that's all you control.

Get it? That's it. Nothing more. You can only control what your body does.

I handle me. I control my physical connection with the ball. Different ball, same spirit.

After that, game over."

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Let's transition to today.

The Blazers have played 8 games, with Lillard having started all 8.

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List of 20pt/7ass games by player:

Damian Lillard - 4
Kyrie Irving - 4
Lebron James - 4
Kobe Bryant - 2
Kevin Durant - 2
Rajon Rondo - 2
Brandon Jennings - 2
Kyle Lowry - 2
Jrue Holiday - 2
23 players tied - 1

Wow.

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Lillard having 4 20pt/7ass games in 8 games(50% of his games) is impressive?

I think just putting up 20+ points in 50% of your games would be impressive, let alone having to worry about distributing 7+ assists in each of those games.

However, Lillard has put up an extra 20 point game in there, so 5 of his 8 professional games(63%) have been 20+ nights.

That's right, after 8 games:

* 20 or more points: 5 games
* 19 or less points: 3(16, 13, 12)

Still has the double digit point streak going; though I'm sure I just jinxed him.

The 16 point game was against the Clippers and Chris Paul, and Lillard added 4 assists, 3 steals!, 2 rebounds, shot 2/4 from 3pt range(50.0%), and shot 6/13(46.2%). I'm not calling that a bad game.

The 13 point game was away at the Mavericks. Lillard added 5 assists, 3 rebounds, and a steal. But, what he showed in this game, that he's going to have to show more of, he got to the free throw line, knocking down 8/8 from the charity stripe. I hope to see more of that the rest of the year. This was also a good game.

So far, Lillard has had 7 good performances, and 1 okay/err performance.

In Atlanta, Lillard looked lost, and kept jacking shots up them up. He's going to have nights like that, and we should encourage him when he has those nights.

He has to have 100% confidence in his shot, at all times.

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How quickly have other scoring stars managed to get to 5 games of 20+ points in a game?

Number of games it took each player to tally five 20+ point games.

Michael Jordan - 7(5/2).
Allen Iverson - 7(5/2).
Damian Lillard - 8(5/3). - Oakland


Kevin Durant - 10(5/5).
Kyrie Irving - 10(5/5). - last year's ROY


Derrick Rose - 11(5/6).
Paul Pierce - 11(5/6). - Oakland
Lebron James - 12(5/7).
Chris Paul - 16(5/11).
Vince Carter - 16(5/11). - Lillard's favorite player
Brandon Roy - 27(5/22).
Russell Westbrook - 40(5/35) (23(5/18) once he became a starter)
Jason Kidd - 59(5/54). - Oakland
Brian Shaw - 93(5/88). - Oakland (65(5/60) once he became a starter)
Nic Batum - 109(5/104).
Gary Payton - 172(5/167). - Oakland

Not terrible company.

How about the other rookies?

How many 20 point games have they managed to put up?

20 point games (rookie class):
* Damian Lillard - 5
* Dion Waiters - 2
* Anthony Davis - 2
* Bradley Beal - 1
* Michael Kidd-Gilchrist - 1
* Andre Drummond - 1

Another way to state that:

20 point games (rookie class):
* Damian Lillard - 5
* Every other rookie - 7

He's a scorer; plain and simple.

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So, where does Lillard belong in the current PG ranks?

Well, lets play a game: you pick.

To start, I want to separate Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul from everyone else. Statistically, the two of them are on their own PG statistical plane.

Player Games Pts/g Ass/g Reb/g Stl/g TO/g fg% 3pt% ft%
Rajon Rondo 8 14.8 12.5 4.9 2.1 3.1 51.0%(50/98)(6.3/12.3) 27.3%(3/11)
(0.4/1.4)

55.0%(11/20)(1.4/2.5)

Chris Paul 8 17.0 10.3 3.3 2.3 2.1

47.8%(43/90)(5.4/11.3)

36.2%(8/20)(1.0/2.5)

85.5%(42/46)
(5.3/5.8)

So, now that that's out the way, lets go look at the fight for third best PG in the league.

If you wouldn't mind, open up notepad or something.

You are going to need to write the numbers 1 thru 10.

Player Games Pts/g Ass/g Reb/g Stl/g TO/g fg% 3pt% ft%

9 20.7 8.1 3.6 1.3 3.1

39.5%(66/167)
(7.3/18.6)

30.8%(12/39)
(1.3/4.3)

76.4%(42/55)
(4.7/6.1)


8 18.4 6.6 3.1 1.3 3.4 43.0% (52/121)
(6.5/15.1)
40.8% (20/49)
(2.5/6.1)
82.1% (23/28)
(2.9/3.5)

6 17.7 7.7 2.2 0.7 4.1 46.9% (38/81)
(6.3/13.5)

25.8% (8/31)
(1.3/5.2)

81.5% (22/27)
(3.7/4.5)

8 17.0 5.4 4.5 2.0 3.4 37.1% (46/124)
(5.8/15.5)
32.7% (17/52)
(2.1/6.5)
84.4% (27/32)
(3.4/4.0)

8 16.5 7.1 2.3 1.1 3.1 43.2% (51/118)
(6.4/14.8)
33.3% (12/36)
(1.5/4.5)
94.7% (18/19)
(2.3/2.4)

9 14.3 6.7 2.6 1.2 2.2 47.5% (47/99)
(5.2/15.0)
44.4% (4/9)
(0.4/1.0)
86.1% (31/36)
(3.4/4.0)

5 14.0 6.4 3.2 1.6 2.6 40.0% (28/70)
(5.6/14.0)
39.1% (9/23)
(1.8/4.6)
55.6% (5/9)
(1.0/1.8)

7 13.9 6.9 3.6 1.7 3.0 47.3% (35/74)
(5.0/10.6)
36.0% (9/25)
(1.3/3.6)
85.7% (18/21)
(2.6/3.0)

7 13.6 7.6 2.9 0.4 2.3 40.0% (38/95)
(5.4/13.6)
37.5% (3/8)
(0.4/1.1)
76.2% (16/21)
(2.3/3.0)

8 13.5 7.8 2.4 2.1 3.0 40.7% (44/108)
(5.5/13.5)
29.4% (5/17)
(0.6/2.1)
53.6% (15/28)
(1.9/3.5)

Rank these 10 statistic lines, in order in which you would most want to see from your PG.

Things, I personally, want out of my PG: pts, ass, stls, fg%, other %s, misc.

So, spend the 5 seconds it takes to write the numbers 1 thru 10 (upwards of a minute if you take the time to give it the once over (I did organize by pts)).

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* Damian Lillard is tied for 4th in the NBA with Ray Allen in made 3 pointers with 20

___________(2.5 made 3pt/g on 40.8% from 3pt) - which parallels nicely with

___________(2.9 made 3pt/g on 40.9% from 3pt) - his senior college season



* Damian Lillard is 13th in the NBA in assists with 53 assists.



* Damian Lillard is 17th in the NBA in points with 147 points.



* Damian Lillard adds 3.1 reb/g and 1.3 steals/g.

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So, again, where does Lillard rank?

Well, why don't you tell me.

The key for the rankings:

Player Pts/g
Damian Lillard 18.4
Deron Williams 17.7
Russell Westbrook 20.7
Stephen Curry 17.0
Ty Lawson 13.5
Darren Collison 14.3
Mike Conley 13.9
Mo williams 16.5
Tony Parker 13.6
Raymond Felton

14.0

Decode your 1 thru 10.

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If you don't have Lillard at 1 in the poll, please share the names of the PGs, whose stats you'd rather have.

For me, Lillard comes in at 2, behind Russell Westbrook.

(and of course CP3 and Rondo).

Also, how does this start make you feel?

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Remember to follow along with Lillard as he documents his journey:

License to Lillard:

Episode 1: The Beginning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3My0KilXj0 (10 minutes 56 seconds)

Episode 2: Building Blocks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Efmy8AT4Ak (11 minutes 28 seconds)

Episode 3: The Draft: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wego8_Mx6QY (11 minutes 26 seconds)

Episode 4: Orientation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3prMVyygTc (14 minutes 21 seconds)

Picture Sources:

(1) - via www.goodwinsports.com

(2) - via 25.media.tumblr.com

(3) - via a.espncdn.com

(4) - via i.ytimg.com

(5) - via www.goodwinsports.com

(6) - via www.nba.com

(7) - via www.warriorsworld.net

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