Portland Trail Blazers All-NBA point guard Damian Lillard continues to impress game to game, season to season. This week the staff of The Ringer ranked the NBA’s Top 25 players in the first 25 games of the year, and Lillard stands proud among them.
The Ringer ranked Lillard 11th among his peers, his 27.3 points, 6.3 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per game earning him high praise.
Lillard keeps adding an extra level of refinement each season, and, as a result, his game has upgraded from a reliable four-door sedan to a high-powered sports car. His numbers this season are only slightly better than those of last season, when he earned his first spot on the All-NBA first team, but the little things—hesitation moves, footwork—all seem sharper. The Trail Blazers have struggled recently, dropping six of their past seven after a 12-5 start, but it’s not because of Lillard, who could find himself in the MVP conversation if Portland can get back near the top of the West standings.
The ranking puts Lillard squarely between two centers: Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets at 12th and Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies, who comes in 10th. Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo earned the top spot on the list.