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Damian Lillard a ‘Peripheral Threat’ for MVP Honors

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ESPN’s Kirk Goldsberry detailed Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard’s MVP hopes earlier this week.

Indiana Pacers v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard is off to another hot start in the 2020-21 regular season. Lillard’s exploits through 14 games are modestly represented in the current odds for the NBA’s MVP award. Earlier in the week, ESPN’s Kirk Goldsberry detailed the field of MVP hopefuls.

Portland’s leading man landed in Goldsberry’s category of “peripheral threats”. Lillard, who sits at +1900 in the Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill, has proved he saves his best performances for big moments—a point that was not missed in Goldsberry’s analysis.

There’s no question that Lillard is one of the most talented and clutch offensive players in the NBA right now. But he is a long shot for this award because it’s hard to see his team gathering enough wins to attract legitimate attention for his case, especially given Portland’s questionable defense. Still, if Lillard can get rolling with CJ McCollum on the shelf with a foot injury, he’ll deserve more buzz.

To start the 2020-21 season, Lillard is averaging 28.1 points and 6.7 assists per game. Entering this year, the former Weber State star has earned three consecutive All-Star Game nods.

You can read Goldsberry’s complete look at the NBA MVP field at ESPN.