As a Portland Trail Blazers fan, it has been a blast to watch the team lately. After last night’s win, they’ve won 10 straight games, 12 of their last 13, and 15 of their last 16 at home. Simply put, the Blazers are on fire. The big reason for that is Damian Lillard. He’s the heart and soul of the team, and really the team’s success lies on his shoulders. As of today, Lillard is averaging 26.9 points, 6.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game, all to go along with a 44.6% shooting percentage, very high given the amount of shots that Lillard puts up a game. He’s had the highest scoring 10 game stretch in franchise history, passing Clyde Drexler, and has looked unstoppable in this latest Blazers run. It’s time for Lillard to be a legitimate MVP candidate.
As of right now, the Blazers sit in 3rd in the Western Conference, with a respectable record of 41-26. They’re still 10 games behind the Warriors, but if they finish in 3rd in the stacked Western Conference, that’s an achievement in itself. The only problem being that the West is so incredibly tight right now, only 4 games separate 3rd and 10th place (!) with San Antonio currently sitting in that 10th spot (!!!). So even if the Trail Blazers do finish 3rd, they’ve still got a tough test ahead of them in the first round. It wasn’t too long ago that the Blazers and Phoenix Suns had very comparable records, and now the Blazers are only behind the absolute powerhouses in their conference.
Of course, Lillard hasn’t done this alone. C.J. McCollum has also been very efficient in this recent run, Ed Davis has been a defensive anchor, and Zach Collins is really starting to turn a corner in his rookie season. Shabazz Napier has been terrific when Lillard is off the floor, and he’s been the one that’s made sure Portland isn’t being outscored when their bench is on the floor.
As of right now, there are 3-4 guys that are probably are ahead of Lillard in the MVP race. James Harden is obviously #1 right now, Anthony Davis has been on fire since DeMarcus Cousins went out with an injury. LeBron is LeBron, he’s probably in the conversation. Then there’s the fringe guys, Giannis, DeRozan, and that’s probably where Lillard sits right about now too. However, if the Blazers can keep up this streak, and finish 3rd in the West, there’s no reason why Dame shouldn’t win MVP.