Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune reports that former Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan recently offered some thoughts on rookie guard Damian Lillard.
"Outstanding," he said. "No question about the kid's ability. He's had a very good first half. It reminds me of Brandon (Roy), being a rookie coming in and having that type of impact right away. And the point guard is so important in the NBA. You can see what you're going to get from that kid. They got the point guard they needed."
As for the rest of the Blazers, McMillan understands the master plan.
"Their nucleus is strong, with LaMarcus (Aldridge), Nicolas (Batum), Wesley (Matthews) and Lillard," he said. "They got it right with their draft picks. Mike (Born) and Chad (Buchanan), those guys do an outstanding job. The bench is young and needs to be developed, but the Blazers are in a good situation for the future. Now they have to hit the free-agent market and improve there, and they will."
Under the circumstances, McMillan said, Portland's 25-28 record is impressive.
"To be close to playing .500 ball is a good thing," he said. "They're not far away. When you rebuild, you don't want to hit rock bottom if you can prevent that. They've been able to get through this year so far in a rebuilding mode and not hit rock bottom, and they'll be in better position next year. You're not just preparing for the coming season or the year after that. I'm sure they're looking at the big picture. Everybody's goal is to win it all."
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter