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Lillard Sees Defensive Player of the Year Potential in Zach Collins

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“I think he has potential to be defensive player of the year,” Lillard told reporters, via NBC Sports Northwest’s Jamie Hudson.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Sacramento Kings Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Collins has made his mark on the defensive end for the Portland Trail Blazers, racking up 12 blocks in just six games so far. His defense makes his case to earn more minutes already. Teammate Damian Lillard is making Collins’ case for a potential Defensive Player of the Year run, he told reporters after the Pacers game, via NBC Sports Northwest’s Jamie Hudson:

“I ended up making first team All-NBA because of our team’s success was and I think this is a similar situation for him as far as that. Just because you know he’s blocking shots and deflecting passes and rebounding the ball the way he’s doing it, I think he has potential to be defensive player of the year.”

Lillard likens Collins to a player like Rudy Gobert, who has grown into a defensive maven:

”You gotta earn stripes to be considered. Like Rudy Gobert who was doing these types of things but he had to wait his time, potentially I see Zach going in that direction.”

Lillard also compares the low maintenance of Collins to Robin Lopez in Hudson’s piece, which you can read here.