Much of the discussion into the run up to the first-round Western Conference playoff series between the Trail
Blazers and Rockets has revolved around the point guard matchup between Damian Lillard and Patrick Beverley. Many seem to think that Beverley, known for being a dogged defender, will be able to hold Lillard in check offensively. Most making that case point out that Lillard shot 39 percent from the field, scored two points below his season average and committed 4.o turnovers in the four games against the Rockets this season as evidence that Beverley has the ability to at least slow down the All-Star point guard.
But Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports isn’t buying it. Spears picks Lillard as a potential “breakout star” in the 2014 NBA Playoffs, which isn’t all that surprising. But the reason he picks Lillard flies in the face of what many are saying about Beverley’s defensive bona fides.
“I expect him to jump straight into the playoffs as if he’s been there before,” said Spears, “be a superstar and have some really, really good games against a Houston Rockets who I don’t think have any way to defend him.”