Tenth Pick Tournament Round Two: Kendall Marshall vs. Damian Lillard

Published: June 13, 2012

Mason and Jason do battle for the second time as the best two point guards in this year’s draft, Damian Lillard and Kendall Marshall, meet in the second round of the Hornets247 Tenth Pick Tournament.

Kendall Marshall

(By: Jason Calmes)

Down 1.

5 seconds left.

Inbound pass . . . dump the ball to the curling point guard . . . find his spot on the elbow, assess the defense . . . nah! f@#k it! . . . shoot . . . clang . . . and the confetti rots in the rafters while confetti memories are buried beneath ever-thickening layers of vitriol and ice cream.

Feel familiar? Feel the anger? The righteous indignation?

Who the hell are you to not look for your teammates?! Who are you to take a shot from the outside when giants are waiting to either place the ball in the basket or take an elbow shot in the face trying?!

Now decide: Do you want more of that or less of that? Do you want Damian Lillard or Kendall Marshall?

Kendall Marshall is a 6’4.25” (in shoes) 198 lb point guard from UNC. The sophomore won the starting job partway through his freshman year, then he won the Bob Cousy Award. He put up 10.7 assists per 40 minutes, pace adjusted (all such counts are on this scale), the highest in Draft Express database (started 2001-2002), along with the top pure point rating (an advanced assist-turnover metric), and third in assist-to-turnover ratio, with a 3.48. The players meeting or exceeding him in this category did not come close to his 351 assists and they looked for their own shot much more often. He is effective both in transition and in the halfcourt and can push the pace.

While you may have heard that Marshall serves the ball to his teammates but has high turnover numbers, what was not said to you was the turnovers are fueled by his drive to dish, not by carelessness or ineffective reads. Quite the contrary, actually. Historically contrary. He’ll even tell you he’s a risk-taker and needs to improve . . . exactly what he should say. Every pass has risk, and to deny this is to disrespect the opponent. His game is just so inherently unselfish that the typical metrics in isolation fail to reflect the truth about his skill and unparalleled basketball IQ.

His game is not complete, just like any other player taken tenth. His low scoring output is a by-product of passing so much, but he both knows this needs to change in the NBA and has shown the ability to change his game by way of some high output performances at the end of this season. It has been noted that sharing the backcourt with a playmaking combo guard could help his offense since has 1.35 pps when spot-up shooting.

His defense is below average one-on-one, but with a team-defense-oriented system anchored by Anthony Davis and coached by Monty Williams, this becomes less of a concern, as he’s deployed a team with average defense given many previously below average defenders. His combine showing helps this, but he is still injured.

Kendall’s supposed weaknesses are his strengths, at least on the Hornets, which is all that matters.

With Damian Lilliard, however, the opposite is true: His key strengths are weaknesses on this team. His 27.7 points came on 46.7% shooting . . . the same as Kendall. Lillard shoots well from the line and gets there often, and he turns the ball over on just 10% of his possessions . . . because he does not pass. Good thing, too . . . 1.74 assists per turnover . . . in college . . . against whom?

(This is where I remind you that we are talking about point guards.)

We are talking about point guards. At 6’2.75” (in shoes) 189 lbs, we better be talking points guards, because he can’t play any other position.

Then there is the ultimate knock: he loses focus on defense from overexertion on offense, which means he does not play.

With Eric Gordon and Anthony Davis snapping the opposition on the outside and in the paint, the Hornets win. With them staring at Lillard making his free throw face we find ourselves reading more tenth pick tournament pieces while our stars look to buy real estate on a coast not by a Gulf.

Kendall has shown the ability to change his game into what the Hornets need. Lillard has been the same and will always be the same. Sadly, this is redundant on the Hornets since they have the superior RFA Eric Gordon and can not deal him before the draft.

Kendall Marshall has, in abundance, the skills needed to make our team’s weapons their deadliest. Hornets fans have been starved for offense, but we don’t need to draft more. We already have it, or we will by the tenth pick; we need to effectively use it.

Just like we need to effectively use this pick.


Damian Lillard

(By: Mason Ginsberg)

This matchup between Damian Lillard and Kendall Marshall has been referred to by others at Hornets247 as the second round’s “marquee matchup”, but if that is the case, then that doesn’t bode well for the rest of the tournament. Lillard vs. Marshall is even less of a competition than Damian had in his easy 284-168 victory in the first round; simply put, the gap in overall talent is just too immense between these two point guards in Lillard’s favor.

Why Lillard?

Before you go on, feel free to refresh your memory on how blown away most of the top NBA draft analysts are by Lillard. Remember that this analysis was presented even before the NBA draft combine took place; since then, Lillard’s stock has risen even higher, including additional praise from ESPN’s Chad Ford. In round one, I vouched for Damian’s ability using assessments from some of the best eyes for talent in the business; this time around, I’ll take a more performance-driven approach, and trust me, the results will blow you away.

The one gripe against Lillard (and that’s not an exaggeration, it really is the only legitimate gripe that I have heard) is the lack of top-tier competition that he faced throughout his career while playing for the Weber State Wildcats. In the first round, Jake mentioned a couple sub-par games against two teams that both made the NCAA tourney, BYU and California. What he failed to mention, however, was how Lillard performed against the top NCAA tourney seed that Weber State played – 7th seeded Saint Mary’s. In that game, Lillard scored an incredible 36 points on 18 shots, playing 36 of his team’s 40 minutes, and at one point scored 21 straight points for the Wildcats. Those kinds of numbers are proof that Damian can not only excel against stiffer competition, but also do so with incredible stamina.

Also important to note is the individual challenges that Lillard faced on a nightly basis. The fact of the matter is that, apart from him, Weber State was frequently less talented than the teams that they faced. As a result, opponents knew that if they could stop Lillard, they had a good chance to win. On most of the NCAA’s better basketball teams, coaches have to scout and figure out how to limit production from multiple players in order to be successful; Lillard didn’t have this luxury playing for the Wildcats. Despite opponents consistently devising game plans focused solely on stopping him, Lillard was still able not only to succeed, but to do so while producing some of the best and most efficient numbers in all of college basketball.

Finally, what would a performance evaluation be without some statistical analysis? To start off, take a look at all college players from 2009-10 through 2011-12 who finished seasons with a PER over 33.5 and a true shooting percentage over 60%. There are only three – one will be selected by the Hornets with the first pick in this year’s NBA draft (Anthony Davis), and another finished behind only Kyrie Irving and Ricky Rubio in this year’s NBA rookie of the year voting (Kenneth Faried). The third? Damian Lillard.

Next, let’s take that same 3-season timeframe and look at single-season production from guards whose teams relied on them the most. Out of all guards with usage rates of at least 30% and turnover rates under 12%, none had a higher player efficiency rating than Damian Lillard (34.0). Coming in right behind him with a PER of 32.4 is Lehigh’s CJ McCollum, a player whose name you may not recognize now, but is already projected to be a lottery pick by Draft Express in next year’s NBA draft. Behind him? Some guy named Kemba Walker, a Naismith Award finalist last season and a top-10 pick in the 2011 NBA draft. Moral of the story? Small school or not, Lillard has been performing at an elite level this season, and his performance throughout his senior year more than justifies the high expectations of most NBA scouts.

Why not Marshall?

One word – turnovers. I don’t care how high a player’s assist rate is, or even his assist to turnover ratio; if you’re giving the ball away on almost 30% of your possessions, that is a substantial red flag. Enter Kendall Marshall; when compared to his exceptionally high assist rate, it appears as if he rarely turns the ball over. However, when his turnovers are weighed against the total amount of possessions that he actually uses, the results are staggering, and not in a good way. Over the past three college basketball seasons, among players with assist percentages of 40% or higher (a fantastic assist rate), Kendall Marshall had the absolute worst turnover rate of those players at 29.4% in the 2010-11 season. Since that was his freshman year at UNC, we could cut him a little slack; that is, if he didn’t hold the second worst percentage of 27.8% as well from his most recent season. Take a good look at the rest of the players on that list; does anyone recognize any of those other 15 names? Each of them were elite college passers, yet were not even considered as guys who could help an NBA team. What makes Marshall so much different?

So, what can we learn from this? Sure, Kendall Marshall showed off his passing ability at UNC, but he often did so at the expense of taking care of the ball. In its simplest form, Marshall made a college career out of dishing out sometimes good, but other times risky passes to his elite teammates while making a 3-pointer here and there (largely due to open looks created by his man helping off of him in favor of those more talented teammates, and even then he only made 35% of them). If you give me the choice between either a player who racks up both assists and turnovers at an incredibly high rate or someone who has the kind of multi-dimensional game that Lillard does, I cannot fathom picking Kendall over Damian.



  1. sting

    June 13, 2012 at 8:48 am

    We need a player that can get to the free throw line. Look at the Thunder, they live on the line. Lillard and Rivers can drive and get to the line.

    • George

      June 13, 2012 at 9:01 am

      I’m surprised noone has brought up Waiters in this regard, he is great at finishing at the rim

    • nola hustle

      June 13, 2012 at 11:37 am

      speaking of getting to the rim, any thought of trying to obtain tyreke evans with this pick?

      • mazonmafia

        June 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm

        Not with the pick, but as a FA, yes! I think at the right price he could be an amazing third option. In my thinking, he would act as the 6th man coming off the bench, being able to dominate the ball against inferior competition while gordon rested or ariza sat… The same thing harden does when their defender (sefolosha/ariza) sits.

        Its all about the pricetag tho

  2. George

    June 13, 2012 at 8:59 am

    I hope Lillard falls to us at ten, but I doubt he does. Would be a big bonus to our team if we could add the two most efficient players in the draft.

  3. nikkoewan

    June 13, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Lillard blows Marshalla away, even with my affinity to pass first PGs

  4. johnny g

    June 13, 2012 at 9:16 am

    We need another scorer just as an insurance policy if gordon gets hurt and lillard and/or rivers would be a great pick up!

  5. Jigga

    June 13, 2012 at 9:46 am

    is Marshall’s game that much different from the back up point guard already on the roster(GV)? If we draft either of the two they are coming off the bench so I like Lillard. hopefullly brings energy and scoring.

    • kempleton

      June 13, 2012 at 10:36 am

      Very good points Jigga. Yep, Marshall won the Bob Cousy award in 2012 but Ironically GV won the same award in 2010: http://www.cousyaward.com/past_winners.php

      If we think this player is going to start his career coming off the bench, than Lillard will provide a great scoring punch off the bench!

      • 504ever

        June 13, 2012 at 11:03 am

        Marshall and Vasquez aren’t comparable, and Vasquez won the Cousy going up against other combo guards; there weren’t many pure PGs he was competing against. The Cousy is all they have in common.

        Marshall was and is a pass first PG with a monster assist to turnover ratio and low scoring. Vasquez was and is a shoot first combo guard with a very average assist to turnover ratio, but a good points/game average.

        I loved them both in college, and am happy Vasquez is a Hornet, but their playing styles are polar opposites: pass first versus shoot first.

  6. downnout

    June 13, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Gordon will have the ball during crunch time, and what will Marshall do then? Lillard is the better fit with Gordon, I vote Lillard! sorry McNamara

    • nola hustle

      June 13, 2012 at 11:34 am

      marshall will then spot up, in case gordon’s play breaks down, for either

      -an open j

      – a quick dribble and dish, marshall makes split second decisions, that’s his greatest strength

      • nola hustle

        June 13, 2012 at 11:36 am

        love the intro by jason, that totally sums up why I prefer marshall (by a hair)

      • nola hustle

        June 13, 2012 at 11:40 am

        totally agree with jason’s argument that kendall is a better fit for the hornets (even if lillard has superior talent)

        one thing that may be underemphasized is how completely sick kendall is in transition, no guard has come out in years as competent at getting the ball down for easy hoops

        that is what the hornets will do, that is what we need!!!!
        more than an iso specialist, we have that in gordon

  7. JamD

    June 13, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Haven’t read it yet but I know this is gonna be a death match.

  8. JamD

    June 13, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I really like both of these players. I think they’ll both be good but I think Lillard may be a much better shooting version of Russell Westbrook. Plus I love his work ethic. Marshall’s passing is incredible & I think he will be a better scorer & is a better athlete than ppl think (remember they said these same things about Rubio). But Lillard would be an exciting pair with Gordon & Davis. Frankly i’dd be happy with either.

  9. Paul

    June 13, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Very, very difficult to choose, but I say Lillard by thismuch.

  10. kempleton

    June 13, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Best Karate Still Inside! 🙂 That may be true for all these players. The goal is to find the “Best of that best Karate!” 🙂

    I prefer Lillard.

    Have I watched any games of Weber State? No! Then why do I want this guy?

    Because he is a scoring point guard! Like … Guess who? Russell Westbrook!

    Because he will become another offensive weapon for this team! That’s what I want. It does not matter he did not played for a big-time program in college. Of all those programs, he led all the players in scoring! That is impressive! A penetrating PG with %8 FT-shooting. That’s what I want! I am sorry Marshall, but 69% FT-shooting?? That’s not what I want…

    Why do we think that a scoring PG cannot coexist with Eric Gordon? Westbrook can co-exist with NBA’s scoring champ Kevin Durant.

    Yes, a facilitating PG like Marshall may improve the efficiency of other players around him. Does OKC have that kind of a player? No! Does Miami have that kind of a PG? No!

    Do we really “specifically” need that kind of a player? I am not sure. Eric Gordon can easily create his own shot. Vasquez looks like a good facilitator to me too. Is Marshall way better than GV? I am not sure. We will see no matter if we pick him or not.

    And who says Lillard can’t pass. Apparently he did not pass a lot at Weber State. But, who knows what he would become with other offensive weapons around him.

    #TeamLillard! 🙂

    • kempleton

      June 13, 2012 at 10:55 am

      Correction: Lillard had %88 Free Throw shooting!!!! 🙂

      • kempleton

        June 13, 2012 at 12:17 pm

        After I read my own comment, I realized/remembered one thing. All season long, I criticized Jarrett Jack. Because he kept missing pick-n-rolls, he kept missing his teammates for open jumpers and he kept on being selfish to score. Because he is a shoot-first PG but not a pass-first PG.

        Now, I am rooting for Lillard who may as well become yet another shoot-first PG. But(!), I want our PG to be able to not only pass but score when needed. I want a player who will become better than JJ. And I am also hoping that Lillard has some decent passing ability as well:

        Here is what draftexpress.com says about his passing:

        “While he occasionally over-dribbles, he is good at finding his teammates on the perimeter in drive-and-kick situations. As mentioned earlier, he runs the pick-and-roll fairly well and is a good passer when he is not looking for his own offense. He also is a solid floor manager, dictating the tempo while knowing his teammates strengths and weaknesses.”

        Full article: http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Damian-Lillard-6152/

  11. Mr. West

    June 13, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Fun little matchup, both guys did an awesome job in the debate. I did my best to come in with an open mind… In the end I voted for ole Marshal. I love floor generals, so I may be a tad biased, but I don’t think I’m in the minority when I say whoever wins this match… The Hornets can’t lose.

    • nola hustle

      June 13, 2012 at 11:31 am

      agree on all counts. think this is a total win-win. I personally do not see lillard making it past portland and toronto at 6 & 8.

      I like marshall because as a fan I like to see ball movement, team ball as opposed to iso after iso.

      as amazing a player as westbrook (who many “experts” hope lillard will turn out like) is, every time i watch him i’m constantly screaming at the tv, “j. christ what the f*$k are you doing!?!?”, as he dribbles out the clock and jacks something up while the best offensive player in the league waits idly on the block, not the sort of ball I like to see

      • StefanC

        June 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm

        That’s all I do when watching Westbrook too. That guy is a headcase with his decision-making.

  12. Jimmy Johns

    June 13, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Too much bold in the Lillard post. Plus he probably wont be there at 10. With Gordon set to be the main scoring option, I’d like a point guard that can get others involved in the offense. Team Marshall!

  13. Jordan J.

    June 13, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Thought Jason’s knocks on Lillard were extremely weak:
    “His 34.5 points came on 46.7% shooting . . . the same as Kendall.”
    -This should be 24.5 points, but Lillard scored more than Marshall and just as efficiently. If anything that helps Lillard’s case.
    “Lillard shoots well from the line and gets there often, and he turns the ball over on just 10% of his possessions . . . because he does not pass.”
    -Absolutely false. He is regarded as very unselfish and always looking to move the ball. When he had enough of mediocre players giving away possessions to missed shots and turnovers, he would score. With ease. Efficiently.
    “At 6’2.75” (in shoes) 189 lbs, we better be talking points guards, because he can’t play any other position.”
    -I’m actually really glad you brought physical traits up! He’s physically similar to Derrick Rose and athletically similar to Russell Westbrook. You’re going to knock him for not being able to play any other position?
    “Then there is the ultimate knock: he loses focus on defense from overexertion on offense, which means he does not play.”
    -Um… Will he have to overexert himself offensively when he’s playing with NBA players? Doesn’t Monty teach defense? Didn’t you just say Marshall was a below average defender and claimed it didn’t matter because we had Davis? He’s got the physical traits to be a great defender actually (Long wingspan, quick, strong).

    He gels perfectly with Gordon (if he can learn to play off the ball a little). When Gordon drives, he’ll be able to knock down the kick out three (Which we saw was a big part of Miami’s offensive success last night). Gordon passes the ball well and runs the pick and roll exceptionally. Lillard’s strength isn’t pick and roll, and he can pass the ball relatively well. Gordon’s weakness is Lillard’s strength, and Vice Versa.

    • Jason Calmes

      June 13, 2012 at 11:37 am

      Actually, I grabbed his mpg, not pts. Fixing it now. 27.7, actually.


      Not addressing other comments since this is an open contest, but thanks for commenting.

    • mazonmafia

      June 13, 2012 at 2:51 pm

      He can play off the ball. Great catch and shoot player from 3pt, even nba range. Needs more work there tho but that assumption is based on the fact that he was hardly seen w/o the ball in his hands, not that he actually cant play off someone else.

  14. nola hustle

    June 13, 2012 at 11:27 am

    When referencing liallard’s monster night vs. the mighty St. Marys, you may want to mention that along with the 36 points, he had 3 assists his team had 7, and they lost by 17! 17!!!!

  15. da ThRONe

    June 13, 2012 at 11:32 am

    If I could choice neither this would be the match up. To me Lillard is a smaller and less proven version on Gordon and Marshall is like Vasquez, but he can’t shoot as well.

    I don’t think either fits this team very well. With that said I’m selecting Marshall. He’s a really good decision maker, has the great size, and shooting is the easy skill to acquire (his shot is some what underrated anyways).

    • Jordan J.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      I’ll take a slightly smaller version of Eric Gordon at point any day!

    • nola hustle

      June 13, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      i think all the peeps who keep comparing kendall to greivis have not really watched him play. why would people be advocating for him if that were the case? greivis is a combo guard who’s a decent passer. kendall has transcendant court vision, ability to make reads and passes, and move the ball down court on the break. the two are not comparable players

    • SP

      June 13, 2012 at 8:11 pm

      I’m with you though, he could kind of already shoot the rock anyway and I think he would add tremendous pace to our offense and he’ll be fine at the other end if he buys in to Monty’s system…

      But do we need a PG anyway? CP3’s coming back next year so we might as well just let Jack’s contract expire and run with him and Greivis…

  16. HoumaHornet

    June 13, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Hope this is the decision that the Hornets have to decide on draft night, if Lillard falls to 10. Have to love Lillard’s attacking scoring mentality. His quickness will also help the Hornets on defense and would love to see him and Davis out in transition. Last night announcers were saying that Thunder are the best transition team in NBA but this Hornets team with Lillard, Davis, Gordon, and Ariza/Aminu may rival that.

  17. NOLA_Fredo

    June 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I was all set to vote for Marshall, but after reading the cases, I went with Lillard. Maybe he is the next Russell Westbrook and, if not, he can be the next James Harden/Jason Terry scoring-PG off the bench.

    Plus by voting for Lillard, we are one step closer to the Lillard v Rivers semi-final match that may make Michael’s head explode.

  18. Michael McNamara

    June 13, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    My favorite pro Lillard comment started off with the guy who posted admitting that he never saw him play. I think this goes for 98% of the people voting- at least. If you have never seen a guy play, what do you have to go on? Well, stats of course. And Lillard’s are nice. All, but one- the wins and losses column. Everytime he plays against a half decent team he loses and in some of those games (BYU and Cal), his numbers are not even pedestrian, they are awful.

    My biggest concern with Marshall is that I think the Hornets have to end the Aminu Project if they select him. You can get by with one guy who isn’t a threat to score if he brings gifts to the table like Marshall does, but you can’t have two guys defenses can cheat off of. Davis will be a legit scoring threat by year 3 at the latest and the Hornets have Gordon, so they will need to add a multi-dimensional SF who can get to the line and shoot the 3, along with a post threat next to Davis.

    If the Hornets grab Lillard, they get a lot more athletic and can keep Aminu at 3 as a defensive stopper/offensive garbage man. That would be my argument for Lillard.

    In the end, I am Team Rivers, but if Toronto snatches him up at 8 and these are my choices, I take Marshall because I can’t conceive of a way that he could bust. I have seen hundreds of prospects shoot up the board, seemingly out of nowhere that people got all excited about before the draft, only to see them not live up to expectations. It’s close, but I will take a guy with one elite, elite skill set and be happy with the double.

    • nola hustle

      June 13, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      i for one hope and expect the aminu project to be over and expect him to get 10-20 min at most off bench.

      i’ve said before the only time you play a guy like that major min is if youre trying to pad your loss column (sound familiar?). i can’t imagine monty trying to that more than one year in a row.

      think aminu will be fine in limited minutes alongside veterans jack, greivis, along with jsmith and ayon. i’m hoping we draft one of the above (or rivers my 3rd choice) and throw them into the fire starting at 1 playing about 25-30 min a game, backed up by jack

      think am

    • mazonmafia

      June 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm

      Watched the montana game in the big sky championship. Lillard was phenomenal! Seriously amazing body control when finishing with the entire defense keying on him. Loved his attacking style along with the ability to put the ball in the hoop. He reminded me of a mini-dwade with how he attacked and was able to finish. Difference is he didn’t cry to the refs and he shoots the 3 better.

      Besides that game, I didnt watch more than a quarter of him playing in any other game, but I became a fan after that one game. And I watched marshall a lot. Having bigs like henson and zeller along with catch-n-shoot talents in barnes really made his job easy. I dont dislike marshall but he is overrated based on the talent around him inflating his numbers. He will be a starter in the nba but never a solid piece to a championship team…. unless surrounded by multiple (3 or 4) stars. Might as well grab teague then in the late first.

      • Michael McNamara

        June 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm

        Yeah, I watched that game and Lillard was good- but I just didn’t know how to weigh that against the competition. Remember when Marcus Banks, Anthony Morrow, and Marco Belinelli each went off for 40-something one year in summer league? How did that translate? I guess we’ll see with Lillard and revisit this conversation in 2-3 years, but I will go on record as saying I will be shocked if is as good or better than Jameer Nelson or Mo Williams, two scoring point guards who are always looking to be upgraded by their teams.

        As for Marshall, I understand and respect a lot of the arguments against him. The only one I think is lazy is the “Look at all the talent he had around him” argument. How did all that talent do when he got hurt? And Teague had superior talent, so why aren’t his assist numbers half of what Marshall’s are?

        I know Lillard will win this matchup, but I am hoping that everyone is willing to revisit this debate in a couple of years and be honest with where they stood on the debate in 2012.

      • Josh

        June 13, 2012 at 4:25 pm

        To me passing is not an elite talent when you have a bad turnover assist ratio. He is a good passer, can occassionaly hit a three, an is a great leader. Lillard is an elite scorer. The ways that he made plays showed that. Nobody can take away how Lillard scores. To me the lazy argument is that Lillard faced easy opponents. The things that he did showed how he can play. Damian may not have scored 24.5 points per game in the ACC, but he still would have been a guy hat finds a way to get buckets. He can do it all. I know that I’m not a scout, so I’ll leave it up to Dell and staff. Whatever they do, I’m for. I like Marshall, too. I just think that we should take whoever is the higher player on the board.

      • Michael McNamara

        June 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm

        Just to be clear on one of your points Josh- Marshall does not have a bad assist to turnover ratio. In fact, quite the opposite. He has the third best ratio in the last ten years. Third best- out of thousands and thousands of guys.

        Had to clarify that.

      • Josh

        June 13, 2012 at 7:59 pm

        Thanks. I misunderstood that. But still, it comes down to if you want an elite passer or an elite scorer who is also an above average rebounder.

      • mazonmafia

        June 14, 2012 at 3:33 pm

        You make good points. But I still would fall back to the fact that marshall is much more mature than teague, both physically and mentally. Also, kentucky was talented, yet young. They were well coached but that doesnt mean they figure out to play together perfectly in one yr. Henson and Zeller are also both mature and know how to play off of kendall. Give teague 2 more yrs of playing with that talent and he would put up much better numbers although probably not at the same level as marshall.

        Btw, I think teague will be a solid starter in the nba 3 yrs from now; if not, an excellent backup.

      • mazonmafia

        June 14, 2012 at 3:34 pm

        Ps I dont see any of the listed players (bellineli,morrow,etc)that went of for 30 or 40 pts averaging near that much. Lillard averaged 25pts. Big difference.

    • Jordy

      June 13, 2012 at 5:41 pm

      So Lillard is solely responsible for Weber States win percentage? That seems to be what you are implying. Skill is skill, no matter what team you play for. It’s funny that the only real knock people can come up with on Lillard is that he played for a small school. So what? Do you Saints fans remember where Marques Colston played? He was almost Mr. Irrelevant because he played at Hofstra. Don’t like the football reference. Well let’s look at a New Orleans native who is an all-star player. Mr. Danny Granger went to New Mexico of the Mountain West conference. Yep, the huge basketball juggernaut MWC. Granger did get the Lobos to the NCAA tourney, but they lost in the first round. Lillard’s team went 25-7, which is pretty good regardless of competition. But on to another point. Lillard is pinned as a scorer who can do nothing else. Everyone seems to forget that he was asked to be a scorer by his coaches. This tells me a few things. First, HE LISTENS TO HIS COACHES. That to me is VERY important, because we know that many players come into the league with egos and agendas. Next, it tells me that he has the ability to do much more, aka pass the ball. Finally, his coaches believed in his skills and abilities, which tells me this kid is as good as advertised.

      One last thing. To all those who compare Lillard to Westbrook, please quit. Yes he’s athletic and can score like Westbrook, but he’s not the same person. He has a much better attitude overall and doesn’t have the ego Westbrook has. I believe that will allow him to be that much better than Westbrook. Lillard is obviously a hard worker who will do what is asked of him. That makes him my choice. I like Marshall, but I love Lillard.

      • nikkoewan

        June 13, 2012 at 6:58 pm

        the question on lillard’s competition is solid knack. You give out these examples such as Granger and a football reference, well here are a few names for you

        Omar Samhan, Noah Dalman, Javon Mccrea, Jordan Eglseder, Doug McDermott, Charles Newton, Charles Jenkins etc..

        you know any one of em outside of Jenkins? me neither. But all of em produced big time in weak conferences (I think. I don’t follow all of NCAA).

      • Michael McNamara

        June 13, 2012 at 10:10 pm

        So Draft Express, a collection of writers who actually watch and follow prospects for years, say that Lillard’s best case scenario is George Hill, but you say he will be better than Russell Wetbrook?


      • Josh

        June 13, 2012 at 11:38 pm

        Damian Lillard is not Omar Samhan, Noah Dalman, etc. He is Damian Lillard. Nobody can take away his athleticism. Nobody can take away his character. Nobody can take away his shooting stroke. I’m no scout or anything, but scouts can’t even take that away.

        By the way, Kendall Marshall’s ceiling is Andre Miller (Draft Express). Also, Mike Schmitz likes Damian. So, Chad Ford, a guy that spends his life on the draft and with NBA executives, thinks that Lillard is a better prospect than Marshall; but you think he’ll be a bust?


      • Josh

        June 13, 2012 at 11:48 pm

        Draft express also said that Russell Westbrook’s best case was Leandro Barbosa. Sorry. I just don’t know if they’re still perfect.

      • nikkoewan

        June 14, 2012 at 1:02 am

        I was just pointing out a fact. Don’t be so defensive LOL Do you think those prospects don’t have “character”.

        Not trying to debate cause I voted for Lillard, all I’m saying is we need to acknowledge everything. Marshall’s an OK athlete sure, but he’s a superb passer.

        Lillard’s an excellent athlete and an elite scorer, but there are questions on his competition. The names I put out were historical evidence that most of them don’t pan out. Not saying Lillard won’t pan out, I’m saying be wary.

      • NOLA Hustle

        June 14, 2012 at 8:09 am

        most people would be ecstatic if it were true that he was as athletic and could score like westbrook on this level, a strong hope as westbrook is one of the most elite physical specimens in the league. while lillard looks promising noone knows whether he can take that leap or he’d be the number 2 pick instead of in a number 10 debate.

        it is true that lillard’s character and especially work ethic has been praised, one of the many reasons I would absolutely love to land him with this pick. unquestionably westbrook, to attain his level of play, has similar character and especially work ethic.

        what we do not know about is what his decision making and team basketball iq will be like (something that happens to be kendall’s greatest strength). not that it’s destined to be bad, but since this is a discussion in which we’re trying to hash out pros and cons it should be mentioned. if you watch the draft express videos they show evidence of questionable decision making on the college level, so it bears mentioning.

        here’s hoping that he grows into a great pro with even better decision making

      • Josh

        June 14, 2012 at 8:48 am

        Nikkoewan-the end of the comment wasn’t directed towards you. I was just trying to copy Michael’s model of his comment before me. I agree with what you say, though.

  19. Eli

    June 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    My guess for three years from now:

    Lillard gets drafted by either Portland or Toronto or another team where he will be the 1st or 2nd scoring option.

    Marshall gets drafted to lets just say the Hornets.

    Lillard will no doubt have the better stats, and maybe even set himself up to make an allstar team or two in the future. People will fall in love with him and think he was the better pick, but in reality, Marshall and his team will be way more successful. Marshall will do more to help his team win, primarily with his perfect passing, making everyone on his team better.

    If the Tumblewolves have taught us anything this year, it is that a master distributer goes a long way to helping his team win. Before Rubio’s injury, the Wolves were knocking on the playoff’s door. After the injury, they were horrible (helping us get this pick!)

    Basically what i’m saying is that I think Marshall is the right choice for the Hornets. I don’t even think Lillard will be available at #10 anyway.

    • Michael McNamara

      June 13, 2012 at 10:08 pm

      To add to your point, Kevin Love was on the BS Report pre-Rubio injury and he said that Rubio’s unselfishness changed the entire culture of the team. That’s what these rare pass first, pass second point guards do.

      They dont make great YouTube videos, but they change cultures of teams and produce wins. But again, no YouTube videos, so it’s a tough choice.

  20. okithor

    June 13, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    I came into this thinking Marshall then after I read it I went with Lillard. After reading MM absolutely gushing over Marshall maybe I am back to Marshall. Just think how many cheap, easy buckets Marshall will get somebody like Davis or Aminu. One, two or more a game?

  21. J

    June 13, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    i want to join the hornetsreport.com i want to know whats the answer to prevent spaming HOrNets or hoRnets im having an hard time with part.

    • Jason Calmes

      June 13, 2012 at 9:19 pm

      It should tell you on the screen. Look carefully.

    • Mr. West

      June 13, 2012 at 10:18 pm

      By geoRge siR, Read the page moRe caRefully and the answeR will Reveal itself. We heRe at hoRnets247 and also hornetsRepoRt will anxiously await youR aRRival. Good luck siR.

  22. mojart

    June 13, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    wid the 10th pick in the draft….the NEW ORLEANS HORNETS select…..AUSTIN RIVERS from DUKE……

  23. downnout

    June 13, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    this marshall-lillard should be the finals of this tournament.

  24. Jo D

    June 14, 2012 at 2:28 am

    My favorite is Marshall…
    If we go PG at 10… Marshall should be the guy…
    A few points.. As Michael stated Lilliard struggled against even mediocre teams… While Marshall flourished in his role at UNC…
    Secondly, Marshall will help Davis develop on the offensive side of the ball (along with Aminu, Henry, and Ayon) as he will find them ways to get easy buckets and put them in good situations…
    Lillard never once in his collegiate career got double digit assists… But he did manage to pad his scoring stats especially against weak teams…
    Meanwhile Marshall reached mid teens in assists quite a bit playing in the toughest conference in the nation… And when his team asked him to score like in the last 6 games, he did so rather efficiently…
    Something that gets lost in the wake of this battle are Marshalls shooting numbers…
    46% fg 35% 3fg
    Against proven talent… Comparable To Lillard…
    In fact the only stat that Lillard completely owns is FT%
    If this is the option… Hornets should select Marshall…

  25. Jae504

    June 14, 2012 at 3:04 am

    Lillard was the only option on his Team..Who could he pass to..He’ll have much better running mates in the Nba..Easy Choice here

  26. Jigga

    June 14, 2012 at 6:49 am

    If we end up with either guy I seems that most of us will be happy. And if they that close in a ability I would choose which ever one that is better on D. I haven’t watched either play but with Lillard’s measurables i would imagine that it would be him.

  27. NOLA Hustle

    June 14, 2012 at 8:02 am

    i’m sure it’s advantage lillard on d, though both are rated as average in college. lillard has the quickness, though marshall has the height and length (which monty does seem to crave for his guards). marshall will be able to switch with ej when needed, with ej taking the quicker guard and marshall taking the larger, eg.

    definitely a win-win if both these guys drop to us, great choice if just one does (probably marshall)

  28. 504ever

    June 14, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Wouldn’t it be great if the Lillard vs. Marshall debate ended up like the Paul vs Williams debate the last time the Hornets took a PG in the lottery, a win-win, pick your style of NBA All-Star, result? I wish I could vote and make that happen.

  29. Jo D

    June 14, 2012 at 10:34 am

    We already have our leading scorer, assuming EG re ups…

    No one can deny.that Lillard played against terrible competition…
    remember Bo McCaleb? Trey johnson?
    Top scorers! Bad competition…

    I also don’t buy into “he had no one else” excuse for not being more of a distributor…
    He had a center who shot 50% and averaged double digit points…
    He had a wingman at 44% fg 40% from 3 @ about 15ppg…

    Ideally, you want your point guard to run an offense… Find open players… Not be a ball stopper…

    You have to ask yourself, do you want the best scorer from a bad conference or the top true PG skills from the top conference in basketball…

    Lillard may turn out ok… But I’d rather let another team take that risk… Because we dont need another scoring guard right now…

  30. nola hustle

    June 14, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Agree with you Jo I keep saying that even though I like lillard a lot Marshall is better fit for following reason:

    As much as xtra scoring is nice, we know our identity is defensive oriented. While Marshall may not be a defensive stopper, he is the man who can turn tos and stops into easy buckets, a primary goal of our system. That makes h the right fit and the right choice for me

  31. CarnbY

    June 14, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    This one was really hard, but I voted Marshall. Mostly because I think a pass-first PG is a better commodity in the league today. A scoring pg is nice if he’s D.Rose or Westbrook, but not so much if he’s not on that elite level.

  32. TrinchMan

    June 14, 2012 at 4:30 pm


    His highlight reel below is ridiculous.


    • Jo D

      June 14, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      Against weak teams.

  33. kfte

    June 14, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    This is a no brainer. Lillard was the toast of Chicago. I doubt Marshall own mother would think he better then Lillard. Coach Williams talk about we rank 30 in scoring; we need somebody that can but the ball in the basket. Plus Lillard can play the 2 guard when Jack comes in, similar to Pargo when he use to share the backcourt with Chris. I had no interest in Marshall being a Hornet.

  34. J

    June 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    First I think it is awesome that there are so many comments. So stoked for this year. I haven’t read all of them but I just want to reiterate that I love Marshall’s game but Lillard is a much much better fit.

    He is a better spot up shooter, who should be able to play without the ball in his hands. Marshall is most effective when he has the ball and orchestrates the offense but much of that will be done by Gordon. Marshall reminds me alot of Andre Miller, great fllor general but bad shooter and not great at playing off the ball. Also his athletic limitations make him a defensive liability. Gordon’s game reminds me of a more explosive version of Brandon Roy. Roy and Miller couldn’t coexist becuase they both needed the ball in their hand and neither was a great defender.

    Lillard is also currently a much better defender AND has the potential to be even better in the league since he won’t be the first offensive option. He has the atheltic potential and willingness to get it done on D and Kendall is much more limited on that end.

    If our number one scoring option was a low post big or if we were a fast break team I would change my mind but we are a slow it down team whose best player is a wing who likes the ball in his hands. He and Lillard fit.

    • Jo D

      June 15, 2012 at 6:58 pm

      I couldn’t disagree more…
      Lillard and Gordon are both scoring guards…
      Marshall is a facilitator…
      In a PG, would you rather a guy setting your Star up or taking shots away from him…
      OKC did a great job building their team. But what is the one thing holding them back from slaughtering the HEAT? The fact that their PG constantly ball hogs and hoists up any shot he pleases… Thus taking shots from KD…
      Thats why they were willing to move Westbrook for CP…

      If the Hornets want a scoring guard they should go after Rivers… I’m content with getting a backup to Eric Gordon… I don’t believe we should draft a Point who requires the ball to be in his hand to produce like Lillard..
      Marshall produces by getting the bask in others hands…

      • J

        June 15, 2012 at 9:22 pm

        I’d rather my point guard making it easy for my star to get shots. Yeah, you’re right, we are polar opposites on this. First of all I’m not sold about OKC willing to do that trade. Secondly, Westbrook is a different player than Lillard. Both are score first point guards, but Lillard was a much better shooter out of college and has demonstrated a good spot up jump shot, and he rarely ever turns the ball over. Westbrook is primarily a driver and he still isn’t a good spot up shooter, most of his 3’s come off of the dribble, and he turns the ball over too much.

        Also, Durant and Gordon’s games are not the same. Gordon prefers to operate off of the pick and roll and he is much better passer than Durant is. Gordon is much more similar to Harden than Durant. They could both just as easily bring the ball up the court as anything else whereas Durant is most effective when he gets the ball in his preferred spots. That’s one of the reasons they run so many screens for him before he even gets the ball.

        Durant would operate best with a PG that get him easy looks and get him the ball where he needs it, Gordon needs a point that space the floor for him and allow him to operate, like a Mo Williams.

        And you still haven’t said anything about Marshall’s severe athletic limitations on D.

        Again this is a situation about fit. Marshall was my favorite basketball player this year, but he would do much better in a fast paced offense where has the ball in his hands and gets to operate the offense.

        That doesn’t fit with Monty’s preference of a slow paced offense where Gordon will run the majority of the pick and rolls. Teams will double up Gordon with Marshall’s man because they know Marshall isn’t a great shooter or efficient scorer. Again all of this already played out in Portland where Roy and Andre Miller fit so poorly together. Teams will have to respect Lillard alot more as a scorer/ 3 point threat which will give Gordon more room to operate and gives him a deadly drive and kick option on the 3 point line. That will make it easier for Gordon to score. Lillard could be an athletic, defensively gifted Mo Williams. Mo was perfect next to Lebron for the same reasons Lillard would be perfect next Gordon.

        My only worry is that Lillard won’t find the easy shots for Anthony Davis, but even with that Davis wil lbe more of a pick and roll big and both Gordon and Lillard can do that. If we didn’t have Gordon, I’d be more likely to pick Marshall.

        Rivers isn’t as athletic, isn’t as a good a shooter, and turns the ball over more (although he was a freshman in the ACC and Lillard was a small school sophomore).

        And I disagree that Marshall doesn’t need the ball in his hands, he constantly needs the ball in his hands. With Lillard, just the threat of his jump shot will open up the game for Gordon.

      • VeezyV

        June 17, 2012 at 2:05 pm

        Actually they weren’t willing to move Westbrook for CP3

  35. Jo D

    June 17, 2012 at 12:00 am

    1. Go look at Lillards TO avg and assist/TO ratio.. Against poor competition mind you.

    2. No one said Gordon was Durant.. But while we are on the subject
    Gordon is not Brandon Roy
    Marshall is not Andre Miller

    3. Marshalls “severe athletic limitations”?
    He is actually average to above average.. He is no derrick rose…but no slouch either..

    4. He may not have consistently shot the ball so that is a question mark. But not efficient? His shooting percentages are actually in the same ball park as Lillard.

    5. I said Marshall needs the ball… But he needs it to facilitate and run an offense (the general duties of being the Point Guard)
    Lillard is a volume scorer.. Which we have already in Gordon…

    • J

      June 17, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      1.I have seen his TO numbers and I think they’re fantastic when considering how often he scored. He doesn’t have anywhere near the same floor vision that Marshall has, and yes I would have liked to have seen more assists from Lillard.

      2.Gordon is much more similar to BRoy than Durant, and Marshall is very very similar to Andre Miller. This stuff can be a bit subjective though. Who do you think he reminds you of if not Miller.

      3. Here’s where I have to completely disagree. Marshall is unathletic and will be a defensive liability in the pros. You don’t have to believe me, you can check every draft analysis done on him like Espn, Draftexpress, Draftnet, etc.

      4. Those shooting percentages would be alot more impressive if he put up more shots. Also Lillard’s % includes alot more 3’s and fouls drawn. He had one of the highest true shooting percentages in college last year and Marshall doesn’t come close.

      5. Lillard scores in volumes but he’s not a volume scorer. He’s too efficient, and too good of a jump shooter to be classified as such.

      None of this is to say that Marshall is a bad player, just that Lillard is a better fit.

  36. Pingback: Tenth Pick Tournament Semi-Finals: Austin Rivers vs. Damian Lillard | New Orleans Hornets | Hornets247.com

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