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DAME TIME: The Beginning of a Superstar

Damian Lillard has been named 'Rookie of the Year' 2012-13. The point guard, chosen in 6th place in the 2012 Draft, has prevailed with authority in the voting.

Damian Lillard has been named 'Rookie of the Year' 2012-13. The point guard, chosen in 6th place in the 2012 Draft, has prevailed with authority in the voting.

In addition, the Portland player has become the fourth player in NBA history to win the award unanimously, after Ralph Sampson (1984), David Robinson (1990), and Blake Griffin (2011).

Only three players registered at least 20 points and 10 assists in their debut: Lillard, Allen Iverson, and Oscar Robertson.

Only five rookies have averaged 19 points or more and 6.5 assists or more: Lillard, Trae Young, Allen Iverson, Damon Stoudemire, and Oscar Robertson.


The whole team has complete trust in Lillard's abilities to score and that way he has all the freedom in the world, which is mainly seen in transition where he can stop and shoot at any moment and from any distance. Dame is one of the best players in the history of the game when we are talking about the range. Through the first 44 games of the 2019-2020 season, Lillard has already drilled more shots from 30+ feet in a single season than any other player in NBA history. In that same season scored 116 out of 266 3 pointers, which is an amazing 43.6%. He was shooting 10.2 attempts per night, of which 7.6 are after the dribble and 2.1 on catch & shoot. When he made at least one dribble his percentage was 42.1% and in catch and shoot situations it was going up to 52.8%.

A lot of credits for his offensive numbers go to the coach Terry Stotts who is having some cool sets and offensive options for the Lillard. At the moment only James Harden has more isolations per game(7.3) than Dame who is in second place with 4.8 iso per game.

One of the most common plays they are running starts from the Horns formation. Horns lead into some of the most common plays Blazers run for the Lillard, including sets with Flare screens, some of their Weave sets, and basic pick-and-rolls.

With his skills, it would be insane not to involve him in as many as possible pick-and-rolls. Dame is third in the league with 13.2 PnR possessions and 13.6 of his points are coming after the good screen from the big guys.


Lillard is fifth at 3pm among active players with 1914 scored but among the top 5 players, everybody played more games than him. Steph Curry is leading the list with 2664 makes. Curry played 734 and Lillard 648 games so far.

Only Steph Curry among the active players has better free throws percentage than Damian Lillard. Curry is scoring 90.7 of his attempts while JJ Redick and Dame are sharing the second spot with 89.2%.

Dame is eighth on the all-time list among the players who scored 50 or more points.

Last season in the bubble Lillard joined an elite company with his unbelievable performances, he joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only players in NBA history with three 60-plus games in one season.

Damian Lillard together with James Harden, Tracy McGrady, David Robinson, and Michael Jordan are the only players with 60 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists in a game since the NBA/ABA merger.

Between January 20 and February 1, 2020, Lillard averaged 48.8 points per game, one of the wildest stretches in NBA history. He joined Kobe Bryant and James Harden as the only players to score at least 293 points in a six-game stretch.

Lillard averaged 28.9 points and 7.8 assists with an eFG% of 55.4 in 2019-2020. He and Larry Bird are the only players in history with those records in a full season.

Damian Lillard is the only player 6'2" or shorter with multiple 60-point games in NBA history.


The key to the improvement of the Blazers this season is the incredible success that Damian Lillard, one more season, is showing in the clutch moments. In games resolved by less than 5 points and in the last 5 minutes of these games, Damian Lillard is showing himself as the best player in the entire NBA, leading numerous offensive statistics.

These are the different categories in which he leads the NBA:

  • 1st in points scored -> 82 points
  • 1st in FG% -> 63% (minimum 15 shots)
  • 1st in 3P% -> 59% (minimum 15 shots)
  • 1st in free throws % -> 100%
  • Best record in those matches -> 12-3



In the modern era of the NBA, it is normal that stars change teams trying to win the titles. LeBron James and Kevin Durant are probably the examples. But Dame is different, he likes Portland and his priority is to help his team become the best possible version. Rings and individual awards are a secondary thing. That is why Blazers fans think Lillard is the best player in franchise history.

And the truth is that Lillard is one of the league favorites because of how he thinks. To be one of the few remaining players, who thinks first of the team, trying to build a project. The courage to say that he cares first about the fans who pay to see him every game, before a ring in any other city. Of course, never without stopping competing. Surely, no team wants to face Portland in the playoffs.

But this opinion about him is also based on the numbers. Dame records are amazing:

  • his 61 points are a franchise record for points per game( He is also in second place with 60 points performance)
  • Lillard has 8 50 points games while all other players in Blazers history combine 7 games.
  • Dame is the third player in NBA history with 1,500 points and 400 assists in each of his first eight seasons, joining LeBron James and Oscar Robertson


He is the franchise leader in 3-pointers made with 1,776 and is the first Trail Blazer to eclipse 1,500 three-pointer

  • Ranks second on Portland's all-time list in points (14,887), third in assists (4,009), second in free throws (3,309), third in field goals (4,901), seventh in games played (615), and fourth in minutes (22,381)
  • in the PLAYOFFS: Holds averages of 24.8 points (40.6% FG, 35.6% 3-PT, 87.9% FT), 4.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.20 steals, and 40.2 minutes in 55 career playoff games (all starts) in seven postseason
  • Ranks first in 3-pointers (164), fourth in points scored (1,363), third in assists (3019), tied for third in free throws made (321), fourth in field goals made (439), and fifth in steals (66) among all-time franchise postseason leaders
  • Has scored 30 or more points 17 times in his postseason career, the most in Trail Blazers history
  • Scored at least 14 points in each of his first 19 career postseason games, making him one of 14 players in NBA history and the only Trail Blazer ever to accomplish that


Can Lillard win the MVP award this season?

Damian Lillard was already named the Orlando Bubble MVP last season, after taking Portland to eighth place in the West after the first play-in tournament. Although it was an isolated trophy for him and the team, it is clear that Lillard deserves more both individually and from his team.

In the first 37 games of the season, Lillard has averaged 29.7 points with 44.7 % for 2 points and 38.4 for 3 points, along with 4.4 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 1.1 steals in 35 minutes per game.

At the moment he is among league leading scorers in fourth place, and in assists per game in eighth place.

Compared to LeBron James, Lillard is scoring 4 points more per game than the King and he is making more assists 8.0 compared to LeBron 7.9. An interesting fact is that he is scoring 33 points in Portland wins while LeBron "needs to score only" 26 points for the Lakers win.

It is not the same load these 2 players have to carry for their teams, Lakers have a much deeper bench and more talent.

Compared to Steph Curry who is playing at the same position as Lillard, they are scoring almost the same number of points but Lillard is having more assists 8.0 while Steph has 6.3. Dame is also better at blocks 0.3, Curry has 0.1.

These Lillard numbers are saving Blazers, who play without Nurkic and CJ McCollum away due to injuries.

The problem for the Dame could be that the last three MVPs led their teams to the best record in the NBA.

Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to the league's best record in each of the past two seasons, 56-17 last season and 60-22 in 2018-19. James Harden's 2017-18 Houston Rockets led the NBA with a 65-17 record.

If Damian Lillard manages to keep pace and guide the team to the play-offs, the votes for him as an MVP should increase.