Marc Stein of ESPN.com names Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard as his second trimester Rookie of the Year.
The Blazers have predictably (and some would say willingly) slipped from playoff contention, but they're pretty much guaranteed to win something at season's end. Because Lillard, even when you factor in his 41.5 percent shooting in February and defensive deficiencies we all tend to overlook, hasn't slipped at all here.
You can't slip if there's no sustained pressure coming from the chasing pack, which remains the case. New Orleans' Anthony Davis, Washington's Bradley Beal and Detroit's Andre Drummond have all flashed wow potential when healthy -- especially Beal with his prowess from behind the 3-point line since the calendar flipped to 2013 -- but we'd be fudging to suggest that Lillard is hearing any footsteps.
The same Lillard who's bidding to become only the sixth rookie to average 18 points and six assists for a full season, which would put him in an exclusive club with Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, Damon Stoudamire, Allen Iverson and Steve Francis.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter