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Damian Lillard Places No. 15 on SI’s Top 100 List

Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated commends Lillard for his role in helping the Blazers overachieve last year.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trail Blazers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

After ranking several other Portland Trail Blazers, the SI Top 100, written by Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney, has placed Damian Lillard No. 15 on the list of the best players in 2019. Writing about Lillard, Golliver compares him to a tier of “imperfect star point guards”:

Kyrie Irving might be a better and more exciting ball-handler than Lillard, but he’s had consistent health problems and likely wouldn’t fare much better when surrounded by lineups with two or three holes. Kyle Lowry might be more imposing and experienced than Lillard, but he’s had his own postseason struggles despite much deeper rosters around him. John Wall might be faster and more explosive than Lillard, but his shot selection and questionable leadership are unavoidable concerns. In this tier of imperfect star point guards, Lillard seems to possess the most dependable strengths and the most manageable flaws.

Lillard was ranked No. 17 last year. For the 2019 list, he’s between Rudy Gobert (14) and Al Horford (16). You can read more from Golliver’s reasoning here.