Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard Continues His Sensational Rookie Season

Greg Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Rookies and continued improvement. Those two seem to go together in any sport, but especially in the NBA.

The Portland Trail Blazers have good reason to like the progress their rookie, Damian Lillard is making. He scored 19 points in a 105-99 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.

The last two times the Blazers played the Mavericks, Lillard couldn’t figure out the Dallas defense and his shooting was a horrible 5-of-24. It shows what additional playing time can do for a rookie in the NBA, considering he improved greatly this time. 6-of-17 isn’t turning the world on fire, but it’s a step in the right direction. As a starter, he was aggressive in his guard spot with six assists.

He also played nearly 40 minutes which shows how much faith the Blazers coach staff continues to invest in him.

Overall, it’s been a good rookie season for Lillard. Just look at his numbers, 18.4 points, 6.5 assists and 3.3 rebounds a game. That’s not bad for a veteran player, either. He’s also very, very consistent. Look at his stats on Feb. 2, Lillard was 9-of-17 from the floor and 3-of-5 in threes and had 23 points. Two days later against the Minnesota Timberwolves, he again was 9-of-17 and scored 21 points.

In his last three games, he’s 9-of-9 at the charity stripe. He’s averaging nearly seven assists those last three games.

He’s fourth at minutes played at 1,890 and fourth in triples attempted at 308. He’s seventh at 3-pointers made at 111. That’s good stuff. It’s why Lillard, just a rookie, is headed for NBA stardom.

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