Despite putting up stellar numbers, Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard was omitted from NBA.com’s recent MVP forecast. Earlier in the week, NBA analyst Sekou Smith left Portland’s leading man off his list of award hopefuls.
According to Smith, Lakers newcomer LeBron James is the favorite to capture his fifth MVP award. Along with LeBron, Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Joel Embiid populate the list of the five most-likely award winners.
The forecast goes on to include an additional 10 players. Of that extra 10, four are point guards. Mike Conley, Kyrie Irving, Kyle Lowry, and Russell Westbrook all make the list over Lillard.
Like last season, Lillard is averaging a stellar 26.9 points per game. Along with his scoring output, he has improved his efficiency from beyond the arc. Through 29 games, Lillard owns a 37.6 three-point percentage.
Portland is currently clinging to the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference with a record of 16-13.
You can observe NBA.com’s full Kia MVP Ladder by clicking here.