Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune reports that Atlanta Hawks assistant coach Lester Conner recently had high praise for Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard.
"He's going to be special - wait, let me change that," says Atlanta's No. 1 assistant coach, Lester Conner. "He's special right now."
Conner, the former Oregon State great, has a connection with Lillard. They're both from Oakland, as are such illustrious point guards as Gary Payton and Jason Kidd. "The kid has no weaknesses," Conner says. Atlanta head coach Larry Drew "said the same thing when we were going over our scouting report for Portland. Point guard is the hardest position to learn in the NBA. He has it down. He is playing already like a second- or third-year pro."
If there is a quality Conner likes most, it is Lillard's toughness. "He's not afraid to drive into traffic, shake it in there and get something done," says Conner, whose 12-year NBA career ended in 1995. "He has great range on his shot. He makes his free throws. He competes at both ends - a little more on the offensive end than the defensive, but he takes on the defensive challenge. And you always see him under control. He plays with a lot of confidence."
Lillard had 12 points, two assists, three rebounds, two steals and one block in 38 minutes against the Hawks on Monday.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter