Warriors: Stephen Curry, Toney Douglas, Nemanja Nedovic
Trailblazers: Damian Lillard, Mo Williams, Earl Watson
Everyone knows Damian Lillard had a fantastic rookie season. He is a great scorer and isn’t a bad distributer, either. The Trailblazers will probably build around him as his career progresses, but, for right now, they are waiting to see how high his ceiling is.
One season doesn’t necessarily mean anything in the NBA. He needs to come out next year and dominate despite being the focal point of every defense he faces. It will be interesting to see how Lillard’s game grows as he becomes more comfortable in the league.
He has already shown he can be a volume scorer, but what will happen to his numbers when he can actually sit down and rest while the backups take over? He should play better. Lillard only shot 42 percent from the floor last season, which isn’t very good. Having Mo Williams there to back him up should do wonders for his offensive game.
As good as Lillard was last season, he wasn’t as good as Stephen Curry was. Of course, Curry has more NBA experience, but that isn’t what I’m discussing in this article. Curry can score like Lillard can, but he is a much more efficient shooter. Curry is also a much better rebounder than Lillard.
At this point, Lillard and Curry have very similar assist and turnover numbers. Curry leads Lillard in assists per game 6.9 to 6.5, but is slightly worse in turnovers (3.1 to 3.0 per game).
Oddly enough, Basketball-Reference.com shows that Curry and Lillard had very similar rookie seasons statistically (per 36 minutes). Curry gets the nod at this point in time, but it will be interesting to see how Lillard’s career progresses.