David Thorpe of ESPN.com (Insider) ranks Portland Trail Blazers rookie guard Damian Lillard as the best 22-year-old player in his class and assesses his All-Star potential.
Too much is always made of "rookie mistakes" and the "rookie wall." All players make dumb mistakes and have down games or even bad weeks and months. Lillard has certainly had his share of ups and downs, but not because he is a rookie; that's just the nature of the game.
The great news for Blazers fans is that his good weeks are terrific and his down times are not so bad, which is why this young man will be on the cusp of the All-Star Game for years to come. There is no guarantee he will make it, as the competition is always fierce at his position, but being an elite guard is what matters most. And Lillard has that in his line of sight.
He has shown he can be a great shooter, and a poor one, so making 3s more consistently will be a plus, as will learning the balance between being a dynamic scorer and an overall playmaker. That craft takes years to perfect.
Thanks to LeGarrette Blount's Right Fist in the FanShots.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter