Damian Lillard’s 2017-18 season featured an appearance in the NBA All-Star Game, election to All-NBA 1st Team honors, a 26.9 ppg scoring average, and a trip to the 2018 NBA Playoffs with his Portland Trail Blazers. Ryan Blackburn of sister site Denver Stiffs suggested this week that those descriptions don’t go far enough, naming Lillard the most valuable point guard in the NBA last season based on statistical production.
Blackburn ranked the Top 50 point guards in the league based on scoring, facilitating, offensive and defensive efficiency, on/off floor numbers, and other advanced metrics. Lillard not only ended up in an elite group of four with Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, and Chris Paul, by Blackburn’s criteria he topped them all.
Damian Lillard comes in as the most valuable point guard this past year, and it’s no shock to me. He played 73 games but averaged the most minutes of anyone, and he had top ten finishes across the board in all but facilitation. As a top 3 scorer with top ten marks in efficiency, defensive role, team impact, and the best advanced metric score, it’s no wonder he came out on top.
He was unfairly bashed for the early exit in the playoffs. Jrue Holiday, Anthony Davis, and usually one other New Orleans Pelicans player hounded him at all times, and neither his running mate, C.J. McCollum, nor the rest of his teammates, could pick up the playmaking slack.
You can read the extensive article at Denver Stiffs and share some love in the comments if you wish.