Overall scoring ability
The prisoner-of-the-moment mentality has caused many to believe that Lillard is a better scorer than Russ, but let’s dive deeper into that. Sure, this season Lillard is averaging more points than Russ, as Lillard’s 28.9 points top Westbrook’s 27.5, but that’s not much of a difference.
But let’s keep that 27.5 number in mind. Russ has had at least three seasons in which he’s averaged at least 27.5 points per game, while Lillard’s only time reaching that mark was this season.
It’s important to note that we’re talking about overall scoring ability here and not shooting, because frankly Lillard is one of the best shooters in the league today, as he’s got endless range. We’ve seen Dame drop daggers on numerous occasions, including the one he hit on the Houston Rockets, which left Rockets GM Daryl Morey heartbroken, like the rest of Rockets fans.
But since Lillard is far and away a better shooter than Russ, shouldn’t he be averaging far more points? If you trade twos-for-threes every time, there should be a far greater point disparity than 1.4 points per game, as is the case this season between the two. Especially when both players are each getting 20 shots up per contest and when Lillard is getting to the free throw line more than Russ (7.6 attempts to 6.5 attempts).
But Russ is the best in the league at going coast-to-coast and is unstoppable when he’s driving to the rim, which even his detractors would have to admit. Russ also has a higher field goal percentage than Dame in five of the last eight seasons, including this season in which Russ is shooting 47.4 percent from the floor compared to Lillard’s 45.7 percent.
So while Lillard is a much better shooter, Russ is far and away the better overall scorer.