With so many superstars in the NBA, several great ballers tend to be overlooked by some of their fans, media, and even teammates, as they don’t get the same kind of exposure as other great players.
Two prime examples of this premise are Damian Lillard and Kemba Walker, a couple of the deadliest scorers in the league no one ever seems to mention when talking about elite playmakers.
But, who would you rather build a team around? If both of them were about to be free agents and demand similar contracts, who would you rather pursue? Let’s compare both of them and break this down once and for all.
Inside Scoring: Damian Lillard
Both of them are great from within the close range, but Damian Lillard is slightly more efficient than Kemba Walker. While Kemba shoots 45% from inside the arc, Lillard knocks down 48% of his two-pointers. Also, Lillard has more offensive tools and does his damage vs better defenders in the West.
Outside Scoring: Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard has become one of the league’s deadliest three-point shooters, especially in catch-and-shoot situations. While Kemba Walker is a career 35% shooter from downtown, the Portland Trail Blazers’ point guard is slightly better at 36%. Notably, they’re both tied at 10 makes from three for their respective career highs.
Playmaking: Damian Lillard
Both of them are great and vastly underrated playmakers, even though neither of them is your average old-fashioned pass-first kind of point guard. Still, Lillard is kind of better with 6.3 assists per game compared to Kemba’s 5.5. Also, both of their career highs are 16 dimes in a game, as of today.
Athleticism: Damian Lillard
While neither of them is a prime example of athleticism, Lillard has impressed a couple of times with his ability to take off and put defenders on a poster. Also, he’s great at finding ways to contour his body to create separation to finish with both hands, while Kemba makes a living mostly out of jump shots.
Defense: Kemba Walker
Neither of them is much of a defender, but Kemba is a slightly better, more capable, and more willing backcourt stopper than Lillard. While Dame roughly averages 1.0 steals per game, Kemba averages 1.2. Moreover, Damian Lillard’s career high for steals is 6 compared to Kemba’s 8.
Rim Protection: Even
Once again, neither of them are true rim protectors. They don’t try that hard below the rim and their defense awareness as help defenders is subpar, to say the least. Both of them average 0.4 blocks per game, and neither of them has ever blocked more than 4 shots in a game.
Rebounding: Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard is a slightly better rebounder than Kemba Walker. While the Hornets’ point guard has a career average of 3.8 boards per game, Lillard is currently sitting at 4.4. Also, Kemba’s career high for rebounds is just 12, while Lillard snatched 18 boards once en route to his career high.
Clutch: Damian Lillard
Lillard is one of the clutchest players in the league, not just now, but in basketball history. When in need of a clutch bucket, just hand the rock to Lillard and wait for the magic to happen. He comes huge in the clutch and won’t hesitate to take that last shot. Just ask James Harden if you don’t take our word for it. It’s Lillard time.
Leadership: Damian Lillard
Kemba Walker is one of the best point guards in the Eastern Conference, but he has mightily struggled to carry his Charlotte Hornets and lead them to success. Lillard, on the other hand, has often been an underdog but has thrived when defying the odds. His Blazers don’t get nearly half as much respect as they deserve, and he makes sure to make a stand for them.
Basketball IQ: Kemba Walker
Both of them are quite smart players, but Kemba’s better at getting to his sweet spots, making the most of mismatches and taking care of the rock, with 2.2 turnovers per game compared to Lillard’s 2.8. Also, Dame’s shot selection can be really careless as he often tends to force things in the offense.
Better Scorer: Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard’s career average is 23.5 point per game scorer compared to Kemba Walker’s 19.7. Moreover, Kemba has never averaged 26 for a full season which Lillard has done three times so far. Even so, Kemba Walker’s career high for points is 60, while Lillard almost tied him with 59.
Impact: Damian Lillard
Well, Damian Lillard has almost single-handedly led the Portland Trail Blazers to the playoffs regardless of who’s playing next to him, even in the West. Kemba Walker just hasn’t been able to pull it off on a yearly basis. Moreover, even if Lillard is a terrible defender, there are so many different ways he can hurt on offense and the Blazers just can’t seem to buy a bucket without him on the floor.
1 on 1 Game: Damian Lillard
Even though both of them are great when it comes to 1-on-1 and isolation, Lillard is a slightly better scorer and is way more aggressive than Kemba. He’s better at pulling up from distance, has better handles and is a craftier finisher. Kemba can score buckets in bunches as well, but Lillard is one of the best in that regard.