• Matthew Handel

Dame Lillard Sets Record, Makes Early MVP Statement

Coming into the NBA season, expectations were very high for Damian Lillard. Some had him as a front runner for the MVP award and thought the Blazers would have a great year. After 3 games, Russell Westbrook isn’t the only player in the Northwest Division setting the league on fire so far. Through 3 games Lillard is averaging 35 points, 5.3 assists, and 8 rebounds per game and has set a Portland Trail Blazers franchise record for being the first player to score 100 points in the first 3 games of the season. With all of this success early in the season, is Lillard capable of playing like this the entire year and will it earn him his first MVP award? One of those questions can be answered yes, the other is probably no.

When voting for MVP two things claim the forefront as most important; the individual’s season and the team’s success. The Trail Blazers will have a good year and could actually win around 50 games, so that will help get Lillard some votes if he has a great individual season. But, there is one problem and that is the other great guard in the division. Russell Westbrook is playing like his hair is on fire and is averaging a triple double so far this season. With Durant leaving this off-season, it only added to the fire that didn’t need any fuel. Westbrook could average a triple-double all season and the Thunder might have a better record when it’s all said and done.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with two guards battling it out for MVP, because it brings excitement to a game that is focused on the Warriors having a cake walk to winning a title. Prediction? Well, even though Lillard is behind when it comes to numbers, it will be a lot closer at the end of the year. Westbrook is on another level right now, but please don’t count out Lillard for winning the MVP award. The Blazers are a great offensive team and that does nothing but help Lillard’s chance to boost his numbers. Lillard had a great season last year, but you can tell through the first 3 games that this season he is set out to make a statement as one of the best players in the league. Going forward, you can expect to see Dame Dolla and Russ Westbrook go head to head for that coveted MVP award. Sit back and enjoy this, because it’s not everyday that two players in the same division will battle it out for MVP.

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