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Damian Lillard Just Outside Top Ten of SI’s Top 100

The Portland Trail Blazers’ point guard is two spots shy in the third installment.

NBA: Preseason-Sacramento Kings at Portland Trail Blazers Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers’ star Damian Lillard joins his teammates CJ McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic, and Robert Covington on Sports Illustrated’s top 100 players. This third installment of the list covered the players ranked from 30-11.

Lillard was ranked at number 12 on the list. SI’s Ben Pickman attributed Lillard’s ranking to his career year and shooting prowess.

Perhaps to nobody’s shock, Lillard was the league’s most prolific player in the run-up to last year’s postseason. With a number of eye-catching performances, Lillard led Portland from outside the Western Conference’s playoff picture to the No. 8 seed, a run required after injuries plagued the Blazers throughout the regular season. Overall, Lillard averaged career highs in points (30) and assists (8) per game, while shooting 40.1% from three. He is also currently the league’s best long-range three-point shooter, taking 6.8 attempts from 25 to 29 feet last year and shooting 40% on them.

Lillard was ranked just below Jimmy Butler, and just above Paul George, and dropped two spots from his number 10 ranking the year before despite his career year.

To read the third installment of Sports Illustrated’s top 100 players, you can check it out here.