Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard has seen multiple endorsements for 2018 NBA MVP, from media to coaches. Even if the singular award is too lofty in a league that still includes James Harden and the conference-leading Houston Rockets, how about First Team All-NBA? Bill Simmons of The Ringer talked with NBA writer Kevin O’Connor about their All-NBA team predictions on Wednesday’s The Bill Simmons Podcast. In it, Simmons refers to Lillard’s chances of making the first team:
O’Connor: “[Lillard]’s really channeling Stephen Curry circa 15-16 season right now. It’s unbelievable.”
Simmons: “There’s a sneaky First Team All-NBA case building for Dame Lillard, who is someone who I’ve been a little more lukewarm on than most over the years. But I think he’s been incredible the last three months. …
“The second First Team All-NBA spot should be wide open between Lillard, Oladipo, and DeRozan.”
The two go on to discuss the cases for DeMar DeRozan and Victor Oladipo being on the first team as well as other All-NBA team issues. They later talk about the number of deserving guards:
Simmons: “Harden, Lillard, Oladipo, DeRozan, Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook. I just listed seven guards; there’s six All-NBA spots. Who doesn’t make it?” …
O’Connor: “I think Oladipo or DeRozan could fall off—one of those two—but I don’t think it will be DeRozan.” …
Simmons: “For me Harden, Lillard, Oladipo, DeRozan unless they get hurt are locks. Those four guys have to be on one of the All-NBA teams. Then I’m watching Curry, Irving, and Westbrook for the other three spots.”
Lillard has made two All-NBA teams in his five-year career. He was named to the All-NBA Third Team for the 2013-2014 season and the All-NBA Second Team for the 2015-2016 season.
Check out the full podcast (which also includes some NFL discussion) here. The NBA talk begins around the 51:00-mark. They start discussing the All-NBA teams around the 1:11-mark.
What do you think? Has Lillard done enough to make the All-NBA First Team? Which of the seven guards Simmons listed will get left off any All-NBA teams? Let us know in the comments.