What Damian Lillard Does
Despite a poor 42% clip from the field, Lillard sports a more-important 53.5% true shooting percentage (TS%). Basically, that means he’s more efficient than simple field goal percentage makes him out to be. Lillard cashes in on a modest 35% of his three-point attempts, and shoots an exceptional 86% from the line.
As a rookie, Lillard’s 53.5 TS% edges out that of veteran Andre Miller during his two-year swing through Portland. Lillard is outperforming our last point guard in terms of scoring efficiency while simultaneously using a heavy 24.1% of Portland’s possessions while he’s on the floor. Miller never topped 24% during his career.
What Damian Lillard Does Not
Though a large percentage of the Blazers’ play runs through Lillard, he only turns the ball over 2.8 times per game for a 14.8% turnover percentage. This puts him in the same range as Ty Lawson (14.8%), Jose Calderon (15.1%), and the Blazers’ version of Andre Miller (15.3%). Though Lillard’s assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.1 doesn’t particularly standout, we shouldn’t expect it to. As a scoring point guard—6th among point guards in the league—Lillard’s ratio doesn’t necessarily need to break 3.0. Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook sit at 2.2, Kyrie Irving at 1.75, and Brandon Jennings finds himself at 2.5.
What Damian Lillard Could Do?
Lillard has achieved a level of efficiency not seen from Portland’s point guard position in quite some time, and he has done so as a rookie, while logging the second-most minutes among point guards in the league. There is still room for growth, as Andre Miller is not exactly the gold standard of efficiency for scoring point guards. But even Chris Paul only recorded a 54.2 TS% in his first two years, improving to 58.5% since, so that growth is entirely possible.