Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard is making quite a splash this season, averaging 26.3 points, 6.4 assists, and 4.5 rebounds and saving his team’s bacon in the NBA All-Star Game. The staff at The Ringer have noticed, ranking Lillard 12th in their list of Top 25 Players from the first 60-ish games.
Justin Verrier writes:
Whether it’s his size or the fact that he’s older than you’d think for a 2012 draftee, you assume Lillard, 28, will top out at some point, but his encore to the first All-NBA first team nod of his career has been virtually the same production at career-high efficiency. The only hurdle left is team success.
Verrier goes on to admit that even holding past playoffs performances in mind, the Blazers “show signs of becoming a snarly foil for the Warriors”. That may be a tad optimistic, but getting a Top-12 nod is not bad.
Lillard ranks just above Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin on The Ringer’s list, just below Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving. Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James also reside in Lillard’s vicinity. All Mr. Everything Going-to-be-NBA-MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo tops the list.