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Old 04-04-2013, 04:50 AM   #1
Breezy
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Default Why doesn't Damian Lillard have potential?

Been watching him this season and he's clearly a stud. A common criticism (if you can call it that) is that he has almost hit his ceiling because he is 22 and a 4 year college player. On a surface level I can see why people would think this but if you look at the history of 4 year players it seems less likely. Just taking him out of a mid major and playing him against NBA talent day in and day out will raise his game, but also 22 to me doesn't seem like anywhere near the peak potential of most players.

I think Kyrie Irving explosion has hurt him a little bit because Kyrie clearly has Superstar potential and makes other point guards look bad by comparison. But I don't see any reason why if he stays relatively healthy he can't be scoring 25+ a night and dishing 6-8 assists. And with a few pieces around him putting the Blazers high in the playoffs if not contending. It's impossible to predict but I think he has every bit the potential that Rose/Westbrook have.
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:04 AM   #2
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Default Re: Why doesn't Damian Lillard have potential?

I think his prime will be something like 22/7, which is very good. Shooting decent percentages. I love his game, and I really hope the Blazers can put some good players around him.
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:12 AM   #3
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Default Re: Why doesn't Damian Lillard have potential?

He clearly has potential to be a perennial all star level player. Maybe even top 10 for a season or two. But with Kyrie, you get the feeling that he has the potential to lead a squad of competent guys to the finals. I just don't quite get the same feeling with Lillard.

A peak year for Lillard I could see being 22/8 on 47/40/85 ish being the second (maybe even first) option on a 50 win team.

And to be fair, if he does have a season like that, it really would be nearing 'superstar' level.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: Why doesn't Damian Lillard have potential?

Offensively, he's everything Chauncey Billups was at his best, but with a more dynamic offensive game.

The most important thing about him is that he's mature and patient. His athleticism is not Rose or Westbrook level, but at the level just below that; you just don't notice because he doesn't show it unless he's using it. He'll have a long career. He'll always be better than his numbers, like Paul is this year. He lacks Paul's talent in just about every respect, but I think he may be remembered as the best PG not named Paul after Kidd in 20 years. He may not have the explosive prime of Rose or Westbrook, but he'll be in the league when he's 40 and I'm sure he'll always overachieve on whatever team he's on, and I'll be stunned if he retires without a ring.

I'd love to see him replace Parker in SA.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: Why doesn't Damian Lillard have potential?

No one has said he can't hit his potential nor has anyone said that he can't be an all star player. No one ever mentions negatively he's 22. OP is arguing with himself. THe board loves Lilliard.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Why doesn't Damian Lillard have potential?

Quote:
Originally Posted by niko
No one has said he can't hit his potential nor has anyone said that he can't be an all star player. No one ever mentions negatively he's 22. OP is arguing with himself. THe board loves Lilliard.

It was his main criticism coming out of the draft. That he didn't have very much room to improve and that he was already near his ceiling. And when talking heads discuss his future it is still the main concern. You're right I don't see it on this board very much (though I have seen it). I was hoping to get a sense of weather or not people agreed and their reasoning behind it.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:21 AM   #7
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Default Re: Why doesn't Damian Lillard have potential?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Breezy
It was his main criticism coming out of the draft. That he didn't have very much room to improve and that he was already near his ceiling. And when talking heads discuss his future it is still the main concern. You're right I don't see it on this board very much (though I have seen it). I was hoping to get a sense of weather or not people agreed and their reasoning behind it.

lillards game is something you don't see often in PG coming into the nba anymore, he's calm and patient, looking to set up his teammates and can penetrate. He is a hybrid between athletic PGs like rose and westbrook with a mind set from kidd and nash. Look at what kidd did with his 3pt shooting in his later years, there are always area to improve upon, be it offensively or defensively, we just have to wait and see whether or not he works on his game during the seasons to come.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:02 AM   #8
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Default Re: Why doesn't Damian Lillard have potential?

Quote:
Originally Posted by niko
No one has said he can't hit his potential nor has anyone said that he can't be an all star player. No one ever mentions negatively he's 22. OP is arguing with himself. THe board loves Lilliard.

ive mentioned this once or twice, and ive seen others too. 22 is old for a rookie, and has to be taken into account, when comparing lillard to other rookies.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:29 AM   #9
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Default Re: Why doesn't Damian Lillard have potential?

Quote:
Originally Posted by niko
No one has said he can't hit his potential nor has anyone said that he can't be an all star player. No one ever mentions negatively he's 22. OP is arguing with himself. THe board loves Lilliard.

Not by itself, no, but when compared to other point guards and their growth it gets mentioned. Even though he's a rookie, he's older than Irving and Wall both of whom are better than Lillard right now and show more room for improvement than Lillard.

One of the problems with 4 year college players and their potential is that by the time they come out of college they're much more of a finished product than one and done players. This both works for and against the player, as the really good ones can come in and contribute right away (and you see that a lot with Lillard in ways like poise and such), but it also means that his room growth as a player is closer to being done in terms of massive jumps and the changes are more refinements than anything else. It's not to say Lillard won't improve, but his game and production isn't going to change the dramatically the way a player coming out after his freshman year might or is expected to.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:36 AM   #10
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Default Re: Why doesn't Damian Lillard have potential?

MJ played 3 years of College ball, how could would he have been if he played 1?
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:48 AM   #11
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Default Re: Why doesn't Damian Lillard have potential?

Quote:
ive mentioned this once or twice, and ive seen others too. 22 is old for a rookie, and has to be taken into account, when comparing lillard to other rookies.
He may have played 4 (really 3) years of college, but he never played a top 25 team. If we can allow a 20 year old a learning curve of 2 or 3 years before he enters his prime, can't we give Lillard at least a year before we declare him all maxed out on potential? He's gone from JV competition to the best players in the world in less than one calendar year so far and he's noticeably better each time I watch him.

Why do we penalize a guy for being refined and developed when he enters the L? How many players do you know who have peaked at 22? We don't know how good he'll be until 25 at the earliest; heck, Durant and Lebron have each improved considerably this season, and Lebron's nearing 30. Many people think MJ's best years were after 30.

This Lillard character is a fine red wine. He's not going to acquire Derrick Rose's body, or Jason Kidd's court vision, any time soon, but nobody peaks at 22. He's got plenty to learn about defense and a midrange game, for example.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:11 AM   #12
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Default Re: Why doesn't Damian Lillard have potential?

i never said that he has maxed out his potential, in fact, i didnt even say what kind of potential i think he has.

i just said that his age has to be taken into account when projecting what kind of future he will have, as is the case for every player.

mason plumless is gonna get drafted top 10ish this year, about where he was projected in mock drafts after his freshman season, despite huge increases in production, just because he has aged, and his potential appears more limited. hes now 23.

guys like john wall and jrue holiday are younger than lillard, and they compare favorably to lillard. i think you can make a case for any of them, based on how they are playing right now, but it seems to me (maybe im wrong here) but people seem far more excited for lillard, than they are for wall or holiday, despite them all being the same age.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/...idjr01&y3=2013

i think this comes down to lillard being a rookie, and having a certain 'freshness' to him. we havent seen him lon enough to really focus on his flaws (and this will come. it comes for every player), and we are still in that period of being pleasantly surprised by how he is play (as we should be).

i just think people tend to overreact to great rookie seasons, and more often than not, end up underwhelmed by a plays development.



fwiw i still think lillard has a lot of potential, definitely an all-star calibre player, maybe the best player on a really good team, but im not as high on him as other are. having said that i didnt think he would be this good, i assumed it would take him a while to get used to the huge jump in competition hes facing from college to now.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:12 AM   #13
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Default Re: Why doesn't Damian Lillard have potential?

Apparently just because you are 22 years old you're already near your prime and won't improve much at all.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:14 AM   #14
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Default Re: Why doesn't Damian Lillard have potential?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chips93
ive mentioned this once or twice, and ive seen others too. 22 is old for a rookie, and has to be taken into account, when comparing lillard to other rookies.

It has to be taken into account, but I think people overrate it. This isn't some 22 year old who has not improved at all in the last 4 years, instead coming out of high school Damian's game inspired such little interest that he had to go to a school you never heard of; who in turn dominated that level and is now beasting at an NBA level.

The level of improvement he had to do to get to where he currently is is tremendous. It also gives great signs that he will continue to improve. First off he must have a hell of a work ethic (there's no way he could have improved that much without one). Combine that with him having a considerable amount of upside as a distributing point guard because he spent 4 years in the collegiate level focusing on scoring, and he still seems to "get" how to run a team and distribute.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:25 AM   #15
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Default Re: Why doesn't Damian Lillard have potential?

Quote:
Combine that with him having a considerable amount of upside as a distributing point guard because he spent 4 years in the collegiate level focusing on scoring, and he still seems to "get" how to run a team and distribute.
Another thing to take into account. He is a much better distributor than anyone could have expected him to be this soon, but he's still got room to improve. He misses open guys fairly often, and messes up the timing on some plays, where a split-second is the difference between nothing and a wide open 3. But he also makes those plays real well when he makes them, which indicates great upside there.
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