Utah Jazz, Damian Lillard's Blazers to spend weekend together
Not only did the point guard tear it up with the Wildcats and catch NBA front-offices' attention, but Lillard also used to play pick-up hoops with the Jazz coach's son, 2011 Mr. Basketball Tyrell Corbin of West High.
"We talked about it together how talented he was and (former Jazzman/current Blazer) Ronnie Price was always a big fan of his, going up to play against him in the summer," Corbin added. "He's a talent. He can really score the ball."
The Jazz will try to force Lillard, a 42 percent shooter, to stay outside and deny him driving and dishing opportunities.
Try, at least.
They know that will be a tough task even against this 22-year-old who's just 45 games into his professional career. Despite that, Corbin considers Lillard "one of the top guards in the league."
The thought brought a smile to Corbin's face.
"I'm happy for the kid. I'm happy for Weber State to (receive) recruiting help that they will get to have a guy like him to do well (in the NBA)," he said. "He's certainly shown himself well in this league."
Jazz starting guard Jamaal Tinsley knows he'll have a challenge keeping up with the young speedster. Lillard scored 21 points and dished out eight assists in a preseason win for his team at Portland. Two nights later in Utah, however, he struggled while hitting 4 of 14 shots for 12 points in a loss to the Jazz at ESA. But Lillard is more polished as a pro than he was in the preseason.
"Good. Real talented point guard, a scoring point guard," Tinsley said, while describing Lillard. "Passing the ball, getting everybody involved, just having good chemistry in leading the team."
Foye credited Lillard's Weber State career for helping him develop maturity and leadership skills that are paying off.
"I think that has something to do with playing four years in college, but he's a really good player," Foye said. "As a team, as a unit, we understand what he can do."
After the next two nights are over, they'll understand even more.
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