Dame Lillard would be the first to say that he’s better than the ninth best player in the West, and if we’re strictly speaking about offense he’s right. We are not. And despite working to improve on the other end, Dame is still at best a mediocre defender.
Lillard really is great on the offensive end though. He averaged 25.1 points, 6.8 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game last season while shooting 41.9 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc.
He, along with backcourt mate C.J. McCollum, carried the Trail Blazers all the way to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs, despite being without most of their starting five from the prior season.
Much of the praise for that belongs to Lillard, but his defense is still worth talking about. Dame scored a terrific 113 points per 100 possessions last year, but the Blazers were only three points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor thanks to his defensive rating of 110.
He still made his team better, mind you. And he certainly still belongs on this list. But until he can defend some of his point guard peers on this list a little better, Lillard is stuck down at ninth.
Next: Number Eight