Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard cracked Dan Devine’s unofficial MVP ballot for the Ringer. Devine slotted Lillard fifth, behind Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, Paul George, and Nikola Jokic. Here’s Devine’s praise for Lillard:
Lillard’s inclusion stems from a similar argument. He hasn’t scored as much or shot the ball as efficiently overall as Curry, Durant, or Embiid. But he’s been remarkably productive with a huge workload as the maestro of the NBA’s no. 4 offense and an absolute rock for a team and a franchise that has needed a stabilizing force at multiplepointsthroughout this season. In a vacuum, Lillard isn’t as good as the three guys he’s bumping down the list. But this is a season in which the Blazers could absolutely have fallen apart after last spring’s devastating playoff sweep at the hands of the Pelicans; instead, they’ve won 51 games and posted a top-six net rating thanks largely to the work Lillard’s put in.
The NBA will announce MVP, along with its other major awards, on June 24.