Damian Lillard could have led Warriors' dynasty, high school coach says

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Alex Espinoza
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Dame could have led Dubs to 3 titles, high school coach says originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Warriors are in Portland to face the Trail Blazers on Wednesday night, pitting Steph Curry against Damian Lillard once again. 

Orlando Watkins might be a little biased, considering he was Lillard’s coach at Oakland High School. But he threw some fuel on to the Dame vs. Steph debate during Wednesday’s “The Morning Roast” on 95.7 The Game.

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“Steph has a great team around him and they’ve done amazing things,” Watkins said. “But if you switch Steph and Dame five years ago, Golden State still wins all those championships.”

That’s a bold declaration from Watkins, who suggests the Warriors would still win three championships from 2015 to 2019 with Lillard running the point.

Speaking of point guards, Watkins offered another hot take about whether Steph should actually be considered a shooting guard.

“Dame’s the best point guard in the NBA,” Watkins said. “Steph’s the best two-guard in the NBA. Because if you look at it, Draymond initiates the offense, Iguodala initiates the offense, Steph runs off the screens and I don’t take that away from him. He’s the best two-guard in the league, greatest shooter ever. But Dame’s the best point guard in the league.”

RELATED: Steph headlines NBA 3-point contest for first time since 2019

Dub Nation has heard these arguments before, but fans are probably content with how it has played out as opposed to the “What if?” game. Steph won back-to-back NBA MVPs and holds a 25-7 head-to-head record against Lillard throughout their careers, including a perfect 10-0 mark in the playoffs. 

You could make an argument that both players are combo guards, though Lillard (6.9 assists per game) has outpaced Curry (6.2 apg) in dishing dimes since the start of the 2015 season. Lillard has also attempted 18.9 shots per game in that time to Curry’s 18, but Steph (27.5 points per game) has a slightly better scoring average than Lillard (27.1 ppg).

If nothing else, it is interesting to think how Lillard would have meshed with Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and the rest of the Warriors from that era.

The debate will continue so long as both players go head to head. Lillard is clutch, but Curry is a champ.

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