Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/8/12
Starting Strong Damian Lillard, one of two outstanding picks by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2012 NBA Draft, has started his NBA career off on a high note, at least through four games. The young point guard from Weber State has been impressive so far as he has shown all it takes to be a standout point guard at the NBA level. Though there is always room for improvement, Lillard has already put together three impressive performances for a Trail Blazers team that still looks a little young to contend for the NBA Playoffs. Should Lillard continue his progression, however, Portland may be able to find their way into the playoffs despite a roster that is fueled by youth. Through four games, Lillard has played an average of 37 minutes, shot just over 40% from the field, made roughly 94% of his free throws, and scored 19.3 points per game. While Lillard has only played four games and those statistics will fluctuate throughout the season, we have had the opportunity to see him play against top-tier competition and have compiled a brief evaluation of the player he could become as the season goes on. Lillard is one of the newest additions to the Trail Blazers family. (Photo: Greg Wahl-Stephens/AP) Here is what we put together. Leadership Lillard is one of those players that will lead through example more than he will lead through vocalization. He’ll tear up the practice court and work harder than any other player, thus setting a bar for all other players to strive towards. Though he could be a little more vocal on the court and command the team, Lillard is still a young player coming into himself and should make the transition to being a vocal leader as the season progresses and as he continues to gain confidence. NBA Talent Lillard is fit for the NBA and has already demonstrated that point through four games this season. Though he did have trouble with the Dallas Mavericks, Lillard has shown that he has what it takes to be one of the best point guards in the NBA. Early on he looks as though he will be a rookie of the year candidate alongside Anthony Davis and should continue to blossom throughout the season. Projections As has been mentioned previously in this post, Lillard looks the part of a great NBA player. Though there will be times at which he under-performs (like his game against Dallas), for the most part Lillard should transition to the NBA very well and be one of the more successful rookies in 2012. The Blazers are looking to move onto a new era in their franchise history. After suffering through a 2011 season that saw the program undergo massive changes, players like Damian Lillard have the city of Portland thinking that the NBA Playoffs are not out of the realm of possibility. Should Lillard continue his impressive play throughout the season, the Blazers may just find themselves back in the NBA Playoffs . CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE BLAZERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
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