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Smith: Damian Lillard's Background Could Build ROY Buzz

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Sekou Smith of NBA.com writes that Portland Trail Blazers rookie point guard Damian Lillard's background could help his 2012-13 Rookie of the Year campaign. --------------------------- The No. 1 overall pick in the June Draft [Anthony Davis] will not go into this season as everyone’s early favorite to win Rookie of the Year honors. The player muddying up that distinction is Summer League Co-MVP and Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, whose grind from unheralded recruit to the sixth pick in the 2012 Draft is success story that resonates from his roots in his hometown of Oakland and all around the basketball world. ... Like everything else involving the 2012-13 NBA season, this race will have to play itself out on the floor. And just like the MVP race and the battle to unseat Kevin Durant as the league’s scoring champ, there should be a bevy of contenders in the mix. But none of them bring the intangibles Lillard does to the party. His humble beginnings, on and off the court, resonate with so many people that a hot start to his season under first-year Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts could generate the sort of buzz that pushes him to the front of the race right alongside our pick, Davis. --------------------------- Earlier Monday, Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk laid out Lillard's ROY credentials. -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter
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