Damian Lillard has been picked as the toughest player to guard in the NBA by Patrick Beverley, despite having some fierce battles with LeBron James.
Patrick Beverley has been a consistent defender for the Clippers this season.
When he was asked to pick his toughest opponent, the 2-time All-Defensive guard went for Blazers star Damian Lillard.
Lillard was having a great season before the lockdown. The guard has improved significantly over the years and is now one of the best guards in the league. The Blazers’ star was recently unveiled as one of the cover stars of NBA 2k21 alongside rookie Zion Williamson and the late Kobe Bryant.
Dame and the Blazers are gunning for the 8th place playoff spot in the Western conference and if they manage to get it, they should set themselves up with the Lakers.
And a few critics are already backing them over the LeBron James led side. It would be make for a fascinating encounter.
Patrick Beverley picks Damian Lillard over LeBron James and Giannis
Beverley has become one of the league’s best perimeter defenders. When JJ Reddick asked Beverley to pick his toughest opponent, he selected Lillard over the likes of LeBron and Giannis. The Clippers star said that Lillard was one of the reasons that he went into the weight room. He said the following about the Blazers’ star:
Patrick Beverley says Damian Lillard is the hardest player to defend in the NBA:
“I say Dame… Dame is one of the reasons why I went into the weight room and told my guys, ‘Hey, I gotta get faster laterally. I don’t feel like I’m fast. I can’t keep up with the speed right now.’” pic.twitter.com/6zYFzU8hOS
— Top Ball Coverage (@TopBallCoverage) July 18, 2020
“I told my guys, “Hey, I gotta get faster laterally. I don’t feel like I’m fast. I can’t keep up with the speed right now. I don’t know if I need to lose weight. I don’t know if I need to get stronger. I don’t know if I need to hire a new [insert profanity here] team. But I need to get [insert profanity here] faster. So I have you guys break that down.”
Beverley also said that the Blazers have put Lillard in a position to thrive by encouraging him to take shots from well beyond the 3-point line. Lillard is sixth in the NBA this season with 146 3-pointers in the 25-29 foot range.
Lillard is having his best season till date. The multi-time all star is currently putting up career highs in points (28.9), assists (7.8) and 3-pointers per game (3.9).
What’s next for Beverley and Lillard?
Beverley and his Clippers will resume their campaign against LeBron James’ led Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers and Clippers are the top 2 seeds in the west currently. Beverley will hope to win the league this season. With an ensemble squad led by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Clippers are one of the favorites to clinch the title.
Meanwhile, Lillard and his Blazers will have to fight to enter the playoffs. They remain 3.5 games behind Grizzlies who currently occupy the 8th seeds. The Blazers will face the Clippers in their 5th league game when the league resumes on July 30.