Despite the TrailBlazers' difficulties this season, one bright spot has been the play of 22 year-old rookie, Damian Lilliard. A four-year college starter at Weber State, Lilliard may have the most complete game of the point guards the Knicks will face this week. A Rookie of the Year candidate, he has been a revelation in Portland, where his playmaking and shooting have brought a much-needed jolt to the Blazers offense.
Lilliard is currently averaging 18.9 points and 6.4 assists in 38.5 minutes per game. He puts enormous pressure on defenses with drives to the paint and his impressive mid-range game. The Knicks will have to harass Lilliard all over the court, and aggressively trap him on pick-and-rolls. Lilliard averages 2.9 turnovers per game, and the Knicks will have to capitalize on his mistakes. The Portland game will be the Knicks third in four nights, but if they can limit the Blazers’ playmaking point guard, they should leave the Rose Garden with a victory.
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