ESPN Senior Writer Chris Broussard has released a set of player power rankings that mimic the series they ran over a couple of months, ranking both every player in the league (Damian Lillard was the only Trail Blazer ranked inside the Top-125), and the all time greatest NBA players. This time in focusing on the Top-20 players, or the Top-19 players not named Stephen Curry, Broussard breaks down each player and where they stack up against the next. Trail Blazer's fans should take notice of where Lillard is currently slated.
7. Damian Lillard
Portland Trail Blazers
RPM: 2.65 (No. 51)
MVP odds: 150-1
His shockingly low RPM notwithstanding, Dame D.O.L.L.A. is making folks pay for all sorts of snubs -- not recruiting him out of high school, leaving him off of top-five PG lists and, of course, failing to name him to the All-Star team.
With a chip on his shoulder the size of his hometown of Oakland, he's averaged 33.7 points since the All-Star break. More importantly, he's got the team everybody left for dead playing some of the league's best ball and in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race.
While Broussard isn't highlighting anything new to Portland fans, it appears he has followed the ESPN style guide for how to profile Lillard:
Did the writer take unnecessary shots at Lillard? Yep.
Reference his rap career? Check.
How about mentioning a chip on his shoulder and potential slights? Double yes.
Highlighted that the Trail Blazers are in fact a real team and not left for dead in the Western Conference playoff race? Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner!
All jokes aside, what is telling is that the national media appears to be changing the narrative on how they view Lillard, as more and more is being pumped out daily, noting not only the team's growth but the evolution of Lillard as a superstar and legitimate MVP candidate. By Broussard's listing, Lillard ranks ahead of every Golden State Warrior not named Curry, as well as James Harden, DeMarcus Cousins, and the analytical anomaly that is Anthony Davis. In hindsight, it makes his perceived all-star snubbing seem even more erroneous.
To read through all of Broussard's Top 20 list and the merit behind his rankings, click here.