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Despite Team Struggles, Damian Lillard is in the MVP Pack

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HoopsHype contributor Frank Urbina placed Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard at No. 8 in the race for MVP.

Charlotte Hornets v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

By the numbers, Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard is in the middle of one of his best seasons. Unfortunately, Portland’s 17-24 record doesn’t reflect those individual gains. Even with those team struggles at the forefront, Lillard’s heroics aren’t going unnoticed.

On Tuesday, HoopsHype contributor Frank Urbina ranked Lillard inside his top 10 players currently vying for MVP honors. Lillard finished at No. 8 on the list, just in front of Donovan Mitchell and Kawhi Leonard.

Urbina highlighted the former Weber State star’s ability to keep the depleted Blazers in the postseason hunt when explaining Lillard’s position.

As the Portland Trail Blazers’ season continues to go down the drain, Damian Lillard is doing his best to prevent things from truly bottoming out, ranking eighth league-wide in scoring, eighth in assists and fourth in total three-pointers. Portland, who sits at 16-24 on the year, is a bit lucky it’s a down year for the bottom of the West, though, so they’re only two games out of the eighth seed as we approach the All-Star break. Without Lillard’s superhuman efforts this season, the Blazers would be closer to fighting for the top pick in the 2020 draft than for a shot at the postseason.

Lillard is currently averaging a career-best 7.6 assists per game. Outside of getting others involved, he is averaging 26.8 points per game with a career-high effective field goal percentage of 53.6.

You can read Urbina’s full list at HoopsHype.