Brett Koremenos of Grantland.com writes that Portland Trail Blazers rookie guard Damian Lillard is a good example for University of Detroit guard Ray McCallum, a top-100 prospect.
For players like Lillard and McCallum, the key to their NBA success lies in their ability to run the pick-and-roll. Unlike Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook, they will never be able to consistently blow by defenders with elite athleticism, or rain jumpers over them like Steph Curry. What has made Lillard such a success, despite a lack of overwhelming skill in either of these areas, was coming into the league as a point guard ready to both pass and score out of pick-and-rolls.
The ability to run the NBA's staple action with aplomb didn't happen thanks to some innate skill, but was largely the result of his offensive system at Weber State. According to assistant coach Phil Beckner, the team's offense during Lillard's career included a ball-screen series that sometimes put the point guard in as many as 35 pick-and-rolls a game, sometimes even two or three in a single possession. That game experience, combined with targeted training in practice and film review, provided Lillard with invaluable experience.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter