FanShot

Johnson: Felton & Lillard Among 2012-13 Impact Players

Eddie Johnson of HoopsHype.com includes a former Portland Trail Blazers point guard and his rookie replacement on a list of 10 impact players for the 2012-13 season. ------------------------------ 10. Raymond Felton, New York A total disappointment last season in Portland. The focus was squarely on his weight. It was obvious he did nothing before the lockout-shortened season started. What point guard at 6-foot-1 weighs a robust 200 pounds? I expect Felton to blossom and get back to the player we saw in 2010-11. Now that he is in New York again, I expect an offseason devoted to getting his body back in shape. The plethora of scorers and well-respected veterans like Jason Kidd, Kurt Thomas or Marcus Camby will keep Felton motivated and productive. He is extremely effective in a two-man game offense and is not afraid to take over. Felton will make fans forget about Linsanity and help the Knicks secure home-court advantage this season come playoff time. 9. Damian Lillard, Portland I must admit that I have a hard time giving a player any juice before he actually shows me something, but there's something about Lillard that tells me he's going to explode. I love the fact that a top-quality player stayed at a school (Weber State) that was out of the spotlight and low on the totem pole, but still was found by NBA scouts. That tells me Lillard can ball. In the summer league, he showed glimpses of what could come next. Portland is the perfect situation for him, a place where he'll receive a green light to go. I love his tenacity, scoring ability and physical presence. I am picking him right now as favorite to win Rookie of the Year in 2013. ------------------------------ -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter
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