Damian Lillard isn’t likely to win this year’s NBA Most Valuable Player award, but appreciation for his 2020-21 season won’t be hard to find. Ahead of Monday’s deadline for award ballots, Yahoo Sports Insider Chris Haynes confirmed that he had the Portland Trail Blazers guard pegged for No. 4 on his final list. The only three other players that Haynes viewed as more valuable were Chris Paul, Joel Embiid, and his No. 1 selection, Nikola Jokic. He offered this assessment of Lillard’s regular season campaign.
Lillard was at No. 1 in the MVP watch a few weeks ago as he was having a really good season for the Portland Trail Blazers and carrying that squad. With CJ McCollum (foot) and Jusuf Nurkic (wrist) out for extended periods of time, Lillard was the reason the Blazers were still in playoff contention. Despite the Blazers, and Lillard, hitting a late-season funk, he has been one of the top MVP candidates for most of the season.
On the season, Lillard finished with averages of: 28.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game on 45.1 percent from the field, 39.1 percent from 3-point range, and 92.8 percent from the free throw line, augmenting a No. 2 ranked Blazers’ offense and missing just five games.
The rest of Haynes’ MVP watch article on Yahoo Sports can be found here.