Portland Trail Blazers: 3 reasons why Damian Lillard could win MVP next year

Portland Trail Blazers Damian Lillard (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Portland Trail Blazers Damian Lillard (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) /

Not only will the Portland Trail Blazers be in pursuit of a championship next season, but Damian Lillard might find himself in a quest for the MVP award.

If there ever was before, last year’s playoffs should prove that Damian Lillard is a legitimate contender for the MVP award. Lillard has been one of the league’s top scorers for the last four seasons and is only getting better as he guides the Portland Trail Blazers through an incredibly stacked Western Conference. But the landscape of the league has changed this summer, and all signs point to this being the season Dame D.O.L.L.A. captures the NBA’s premiere individual award.

1. Competition has cratered

Unlike recent years, the MVP award should not have as many names mentioned as a contender this season. All of the superstar duos sprouting up over the league will result in the typical cast of MVP contenders taking a hit to their season average statistics. Here are just a few names that are much less likely to be mentioned in the MVP award race this year: Kevin Durant, Paul George, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden.

Each these guys have been favorites to win for a long time, but this season will be an entirely new challenge for them. Durant and George won’t win due to lingering injuries. Harden and Westbrook’s numbers should go way down due to them being on the same team. The 2019-20 NBA season should be less crowded for the NBA award, leaving room for Dame to pave his way to the very top.

2. Team success and stability

There have been so many changes to almost every team in the Western Conference over the offseason. With Golden State losing KD and Klay Thompson missing significant time, the Warriors won’t be the powerhouse team they once were. Only two top teams in the West retained most of their core roster for this upcoming season, that being the Nuggets and the Blazers. All the other teams made significant changes to their roster.

This means that those teams will be much more likely to lose games early on than they probably should because of chemistry and trying to develop a system that works for everybody on the roster. With this being said, the Portland Trail Blazers have a good chance of finishing with the best record in the West. Team success is a critically important narrative for the award, and would look great on Lillard’s resume.

3. Statistical superiority

Last season Dame averaged 25.8 points per game, making it his fourth season in a row scoring at least 25 points per game on average. There’s no reason why Dame shouldn’t be able to that again, but there’s a lot of reasons why he could do even better. With Jusuf Nurkic being hurt, Lillard will have to assume even more of the offensive workload. Hassan Whiteside will also generate extra possessions on the boards and give Dame easy opportunities in the fast break after blocked shot.

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I predict Damian Lillard will average over 27 points per game, along with 7 assists, and 5 rebounds. With these numbers and a high seed in the playoffs, Lillard should be one of the favorites to win MVP. The days of Dame being snubbed are over.