Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard leaps near the top of NBA.com's MVP ladder

Trail Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard has the entire league on notice with how he has been performing this NBA season.

With both Jusuf Nurkic and CJ McCollum still sidelined with injuries, Lillard has taken it upon himself to help lead the Blazers to win nine of the last 12 games.

With helping with the team’s success and his outstanding scoring production in “clutch time”, Lillard has been making his way up in the Kia MVP ladder.

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A significant jump, if we are being honest.

Lillard moved from No.8 to being No.3 on the list behind Joel Embiid and LeBron James at the one and two spots.

NBA.com contributor Michael C. Wright made a note regarding Lillard and his progression in this MVP race to what Russell Westbrook did in his 2016-17 season, and even mentions that Westbrook wasn’t an All-Star starter either.

It’s just flat-out ridiculous what he’s doing in shouldering the load in Portland with CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic nursing injuries. Clutch time is definitely Dame time, as he’s 12-3 in those situations, burning the opposition down the stretch, sinking 58.8% from deep in the last five minutes of games separated by five points or fewer. He’s not an All-Star starter, but neither was Russell Westbrook the year he won MVP.

Michael C. Wright

Through the first 28 games of the season, Lillard is averaging 30 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 7.9 APG. With how he has been playing all season long, and especially recently, you can’t not have him in this NBA MVP race.

For the month of February, the Blazers 8-2 and are currently 5th in the Western Conference standings.

And with McCollum reportedly being out at least another week or so due to his injury, it’s safe to say the Blazers are in pretty good hands with Dame leading the way until help arrives to take some of the pressure off his shoulders.