Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard are two of the best point guards in the NBA. The modern NBA is a guards league. This means smaller faster guards perform better than the traditional big man. Both Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard have extensive skillsets. However, once the stats and playstyles are analyzed a slightly better player emerges.
Why is Kyrie Irving considered better than Damian Lillard?
Kyrie Irving is arguably the most skilled player in league history. Additionally, his ability to finish beneath the rim is second to none. Kyrie was a pillar in the Cleveland Cavaliers 2016 championship season. However, injuries have constantly hampered Kyrie’s postseasons since then. Despite not being able to lead another team to a championship since then, Irving has been spectacular on the basketball court.
Kyrie averaged a 50-40-90 stat line this season. This means he shot 50% from the field. He shot 40% from the three-point line and 90 % from the free-throw line. Additionally, Kyrie also averaged 6 AST 5 RBD, and 1.4 steals per game. Kyrie Irving was arguably the offensive firepower the Brooklyn Nets needed this season to beat the Milwaukee Bucks. Additionally, he is simply a transcendental talent, whose very presence on the basketball court makes his team better.
Damian Lillard: A Lone Wolf
Lillard has averaged 45% shooting from the field and 39% from the three-point line. Damian does not have a championship in his legacy yet. However, he is still one of the best point guards in the league. Lillard has learned several nicknames in his rise to fame in this league. Nicknames and connotations such as “Dame time” and “Logo Lillard” became symbolic of Lillard’s ability to shoot the ball from significantly further than the three-point line. Additionally, they also referred to his ability to make these shots at the absolute end of games. This is referred to as “clutch shots made in crunch time”.
Lillard has never had the supporting cast around him that Kyrie Irving has had. The Portland Trail Blazers were eliminated by the Denver Nuggets in the first round of this postseason. This was despite Damian Lillard averaging a superstar-level stat line in the series. He averaged a ridiculous 34.3 PTS and 10 AST in the postseason. However, the Portland Trail Blazers heavily underperformed in that series. This has also led to friction and trade rumors between Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers.
Winning a championship will give Lillard the recognition Irving has. However, Kyrie is definitely more skilled and efficient than Lillard. Lillard has been able to average these numbers with a high usage rate. However, Kyrie has been part of a superteam and played more of a two-guard role( Shooting guard) as opposed to being the primary ball-handler. Kyrie is also simply more well-known around the world with children aspiring to be like him emerging in the last decade. As Damian Lillard has never even made an NBA Finals as of yet, let alone won a championship, he still has much to prove