One thing that shouldn’t be debated is the significant difference between Westbrook’s court vision and Lillard’s. This is a skillset that Russ has, as he’s a threat to finish with 10+ assists essentially whenever he wants to. He also has the ability to make dazzling passes that Lillard simply can’t, and his elite athleticism and ability to get to the cup often draws a second defender, which leaves shooters wide open.
Russ led the league in assists in two of the last three seasons, and averaged 10+ assists per game in four of the last five years. But there’s a greater meaning behind these numbers as it represents getting others involved, which reflects making others better, which is ultimate job of a point guard.
Lillard seeks to score first and foremost, while Russ is seeking to feed the ball to his teammates. In spite of Lillard’s primary emphasis on scoring, he’s not a better scorer than Russ, as pointed out above.
Lillard certainly isn’t a true point guard, and especially not when compared to Russ. In fact, Lillard has only averaged more assists than Russ once in his entire career, which was this season.
But that was to be expected for The Brodie while playing alongside someone as ball-dominant as James Harden and especially playing in a new offensive system such as the one the Houston Rockets employ. But even though Lillard averaged more assists this season, it was by a marginal difference, as Russ averaged seven assists this season compared to Lillard’s 7.8.
This was Westbrook’s lowest assist mark since the 2014-15 season, while this represented Lillard’s best season in that department. Even the biggest Lillard fan and the biggest Russ detractor would admit that Lillard pales in comparison to Westbrook’s court vision.