Although he and his team literally limped across the finish line, Damian Lillard had an incredible season this year for the Portland Trail Blazers. Some would argue that Lillard reached an entirely new level and has ascended into the top spot among point guards in the league.
On the Locked On Blazers Podcast, host Mike Richman explained why Damian Lillard is the best point guard in the NBA today.
Mike Richman: Dame was the best point guard in the NBA last year. And I don’t think there’s much debate about that.
Year eight for Damian Lillard in the NBA was his best statistically. In 66 games, he averaged a career-high 30 points to go with 4.3 rebounds and a career best 8.0 assists, he shot 46% from the floor, a career best 40.1 from behind the arc on 10.2 attempts a game from deep. He joined Steph Curry on a very short list of players who have made at least 40% of their threes on at least 10 attempts a game. There’s two dudes on the list. Dame is one of them. There just aren’t many dudes who can take that volume of threes and make them that efficiently. In fact, there’s two of them: Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard
Lillard had more games this year where he scored over 40 points (11) than he had where he scored fewer than 20 (8).
He had six games where he topped 50, and he joined Wilt Chamberlain—you may remember him as a dude who got buckets—as the only players in NBA history to have at least three 60-point games in a single season.
And there was a brief stretch where Damian Lillard was the best player in the NBA. From January 20—when he had 61 points to help the Blazers squeak by a pretty bad Golden State Warriors team—through a six-game, 11-day run that ended on the first of February, Damian Lillard averaged 48.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 10.2 assists. He shot 55% from the floor, 57% from three, and 92% from the free-throw line. He was the best player on the planet for six straight games.