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“Bold Prediction” Has Damian Lillard Making All-NBA First Team

Portland’s superstar is having a banner year.

New Orleans Pelicans v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard will rise to First Team, All-NBA in 2023 if a “bold prediction” from Dan Favale of Bleacher Report comes true. Today Favale engaged in prognostication for the remainder of the 2022-23 regular season, and Lillard’s primacy among NBA point guard takes center stage in his crystal ball.

Favale talks up Lilard’s stats, then puts them in historical perspective.

The NBA has never seen volume and efficiency married quite like this. And no, that is not hyperbole.

Among the 30 times in league history that a player has averaged more than 32 points per game, nobody has ever spit out a higher true shooting percentage than Lillard’s current mark of 65.2.

He concludes with a look at Lillard’s competition for the honor:

Predicting an All-NBA First Team bid for Lillard doesn’t seem especially scintillating when framed this way. But Stephen Curry was a virtual lock for one of the two spots before his left shoulder injury. He is back and still has time to reclaim that throne.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander isn’t going anywhere, either. (Probably.) His abdominal strain might limit him the rest of the way, but he has the total-minutes edge for now, and his case gets ever stronger if the Oklahoma City Thunder stick ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers in the standings.

This is all to say: One of the First Team All-NBA slots will go to [Luka] Dončić. The other is far less settled—but will invariably, and deservingly, be awarded to Dame.

Favale also makes predictions on Rookie of the Year, the fate of several possible playoffs teams, and the NBA Play-In Tournament.