David Aldridge of NBA.com reports that New Orleans Hornets coach Monty Williams endorses Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard over Hornets forward Anthony Davis as the NBA's "best rookie."
While Portland's Damian Lillard has been out front all season in Rookie of the Year voting, Davis has come on slowly, but consistently, with Coach Monty Williams holding him under 30 minutes a game as he learns the league and starts to put grown-man muscle on his 19-year-old body. It's a work in progress that Williams hopes will end up with Davis looking and playing like LaMarcus Aldridge, whom Williams saw early in his career in Portland while he was an assistant.
Having Lillard get all the ink "kind of reminds me of (Davis) being on the Olympic team," Williams said. "Everybody was focused on LeBron, Chris and Carmelo, and Anthony got a chance to sit back and just watch. Coach K threw him into some games, and you were like, 'Whoa, I forgot he was on the team.' And he's got five straight dunks and three blocks, and you're like, OK. Lillard's older, the body's more mature, and that's taken some of the pressure off of him. AD's played well. It's just that Lillard's played like an All-Star. You can't argue with the fact that he's been the best rookie this year, but AD's right behind him -- just not as close as everybody wants him to be."
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter