Damian Lillard
Cut the Slander, Damian Lillard is the MVP (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP)

Damian Lillard is the Most Valuable Player in the league and I’m tired of him not being given any recognition. I’m going to try to keep my fandom of the Blazers out of this as much as I can.

There has been a lot of Slander going on here at Vendetta when it comes to MVP, and it all started when I asked if James Harden was right. Then Ryan said that Harden is the MVP. Alex came back with “How is he?” Ryan clapped back with another article on why he is. Then Garrett came out with a Nikola Jokic is the MVP.

So where do I stand? I stand with Alex, that James Harden is NOT the MVP. He has had both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant on his team. They might not have played the entire season so far, but those are still two big names to have in your lineup when they are. There’s also the whole Houston Rockets issue from the beginning of the year.

Not to mention, Trey (the owner of Vendetta) was either high or drunk off his butt, when he wrote that Chris Paul is the MVP. That’s coming from a guy who said he stopped watching basketball because he thinks the league is soft and boring.

I will admit that I like (Garrett’s article about) Nikola Jokic being MVP. But, the true MVP… is the 2020 NBA Bubble MVP Damian Lillard. This season Lillard was almost an NBA All-Star Starter. So why does Lillard deserve to be MVP?

The stats are there:

This season Damian Lillard is playing the best basketball of his career. He’s currently second in points per game at 29.8 and 9th in assists per game at 7.8. He has already knocked down 183 3-pointers and we’re only halfway through the season.

Lillard has taken “Dame Time” to a whole new level this season, as he has proven time and time again he is the most clutch player in the NBA. Here are his stats when in the last five minutes of a game:

77.7% True Shooting, this is the best among players that qualify. If you’re unfamiliar with true shooting percentage, it’s considered to be a more accurate measure of how efficient a player is scoring because it takes into account 2-point field goals, 3-point field goals, and free throws.

He’s also shooting 56% and 44% from beyond the arc and 100 percent in the free throw. The Blazers are 20-7 when a game is decided in the Clutch this season.

Who does each Candidate have around him?

Whether or not, they have played the entire season James Harden has had Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant on his team. Now, you have to add in Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge. When this Brooklyn Nets super team gets healthy and they are all playing together. They might diminish Harden’s role and he becomes more of a player on a team of stars.

So Harden is out of the conversation. LeBron James is hurt and so is Embiid. So both of them are out as well.

Now, when you get to Nikola Jokic. He’s had Jamal Murray for the entire season and Porter Jr has been healthy for most of the season. Now you add in Aaron Gordon who might take away some rebounds and points from Jokic.

This brings me to Damian Lillard. Lillard’s team has the same exact record as that of Nikola Jokic. Lillard has been the only star player playing for the Blazers most of the season. McCollum and Nurkic were both hurt. Covington hasn’t shot the ball well from deep most of the season. At Times the Blazers only had eight healthy players and still won games, because of Damian Lillard. That’s an MVP right there. Someone that keep his team in contention.

So why Lillard over Harden?

For most of the time that he has been in Brooklyn, James Harden has had Kyrie Irving on the court with him. Lillard has had nobody. No Stars (CJ has played less than half the season so far). Just him and a piss poor defense that’s the worst in the league.

Before the season started, many people once again said Portland wouldn’t make the playoffs. But yet, every year they do because of who? Damian Lillard. It’s time for him to get the respect he deserves.

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