David Thorpe of ESPN.com (Insider) believes Portland Trail Blazers rookie guard Damian Lillard should study tape of Denver Nuggets guard Andre Miller.
Lillard already plays beyond his years with skill, feel and a terrific confidence. But while his athletic gifts are strong, they are not elite. So learning the nuances of point-guard play from someone like Miller can help him reach his high ceiling.
Miller is the best lob passer (with apologies to Chris Paul) and hit-ahead guard in the game. He reads the court horizontally and in two dimensions vertically -- down the floor and up in the air, creating buckets for teammates even when the defense thinks they are in solid position. Getting points for your team when a lesser passer wouldn't is what separates great guards from good ones.
Lillard, with those abilities, would seem to be an All-Star lock down the road. Learning to read the game would also help him play more efficiently and save energy in the process -- part of the reason why Miller is still playing so well at 37 years of age.
More thoughts from Thorpe on the subject in this TrueHoopTV interview with Henry Abbott.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter