When mentioning the best PGs in the NBA today there’s always a great debate as there are many to choose from. You have your mainstays in Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, John Wall, Kyrie Irving, Kyle Lowry and more but why is Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers name being forgotten?
Is it because he has never won, he’s new or his team’s lack of success? It’s downright embarrassing when you think about it. This is a young kid that came from a small school, with a chip on his shoulder, ready to prove everyone wrong who said he couldn’t cut it in the NBA, especially when it came to his superiors at his position. Well, he as did that and more, but where is the respect?
At this moment I can only put two players ahead of him, Westbrook and Curry but after them, I have to place Lillard. It’s not funny, I know some of you are saying but did you see what Irving did in the Finals against Curry and that clutch shot he made? Yes, but when you are playing with a LeBron James and Kevin Love you should be expected to succeed. If Irving and the Cavs had fallen, the blame would’ve been on James, not Irving due to his failures to lead in the past. Remember, just a few years ago there was the talk of the Cavs possibly trading Irving, and now they want to hail him as one of the best. He has talent, but he cannot lead a team.
I have respect for Wall as I watched him in High School and followed his career closely in the NBA. He, much like Irving has had his fair share of failures as well as a leader. The Washington Wizards were supposed to contend with the Cavs for the East crown but never came close, hell, they couldn’t even make the playoffs in 2015 and that blame falls on the shoulders of Wall.
In regards to Lowry, he and the Toronto Raptors reached the Conference Finals in 2015 but much like Wall and Irving before him, he has All-Star players surrounding him, this is supposed to happen for Lowry but when the game tight I do not want the ball in his hands with my season on the line. Chris Paul is another one that I am not too certain about, He has the talent, one of the best teams in the league, 1-12 but what has that gotten him? Too many early playoffs exit to count.
I’ve read list where Lillard is ranked 6th or lower, but how? What are these experts looking at that I have obviously overlooked at some point? This is not even about the LaMarcus Aldridge situation, this is concentrating on what Lillard did in 2015 with a Blazers team many thought would contend for a lottery pick. He guided a team with a roster full of player’s no one wanted and led them to a second round matchup with Curry and the Warriors where Lillard made the world take notice just how serious he was. He averaged 32 points and 8 assists against the defending champs while LEADING the Blazers.
You see, there is a difference between Lillard and the PGs I have below him. Most of those guys have All Star’s as a supporting cast as Lillard led a young ball club that many say overachieved after they picked them to fail. That was not overachieving, that was a player being a leader, doing what a leader is supposed to do. Everyone has become so accustomed to these Super Teams that they have no idea how to handle a single player leading his team to victories.
If he is not a top 3 PG then there is something seriously wrong with the way people view the game. There is not another 20 point scorer on the Blazers, they play team ball, but when crunch time hits, they look to him for answers, not a straw draw contest between three other All-Star players. But please answer me this. How can a player that averages 25 points, 7 assist and 4 rebounds not make the All-Star game?
You can keep disrespecting Lillard’s game all you want but when they make a return trip to the playoffs, what will be the excuse then?