Everyone knew Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers would win the NBA's Eddie Gottlieb Trophy as the 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year, the only question was how large his margin of victory would be.
Lillard was a unanimous selection, earning 605 total points and sweeping all 121 first-place votes for the first time since the Clippers' Blake Griffin did it in 2010-11.
After playing in relative obscurity during his collegiate years at mid-major Weber State, Lillard wasted no time establishing himself as a legitimate NBA starting point guard.
With his quickness, three-point range, smart decisions in the pick-and-roll, and ability to break his man down off the dribble, Lillard ranked first among rookies in scoring (19 ppg), assists (6.5 apg), and minutes (38.6 mpg).
The sixth overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft, Lillard swept the NBA Rookie of the Month Awards in the Western Conference this season. He also set an NBA rookie record by making 185 three-point field goals, surpassing the 166 triples made by Golden State’s Stephen Curry in 2009-10.
According to NBA.com/Stats, the Trail Blazers had an offensive rating of 105.0 points (per 100 possessions) when Lillard was on the court compared with 93.5 points (per 100 possesions) when the first-year player was on the bench. When on the court, Lillard assisted on 36.5 percent of Portland’s field goals while scoring 23.9 percent of his team’s points.
The New Orleans Hornets’ Anthony Davis, the draft's number one overall selection, finished second with 306 points, and the Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal finished third with 94 points. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.
By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and news services