MVP Race: James Harden's shooting struggles create opening for others

MVP Race: James Harden's shooting struggles create opening for others

Awards

MVP Race: James Harden's shooting struggles create opening for others

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9. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers

STATS: 26.0 ppg, 6.4 apg, 4.6 rpg, 1.2 spg, 44.7 FG%

The Portland Trail Blazers have won five straight games and they’re currently sitting in the Western Conference’s fourth seed. Lillard has been terrific all season, filling the stat sheet and playing some of the most efficient basketball of his career.

And throughout the last month and a half, the four-time All-Star has elevated his game to another level as he carries the Blazers. Over the last 16 games, Lillard is averaging 26.4 points, 7.2 assists, 4.8 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 2.7 made threes.

Lillard is often mentioned as a possible target for big-market teams who are looking to add a star since he’s in a small market and he’s the kind of player who can push a team into contention. However, he has made it abundantly clear that he wants to remain in Portland for the long haul (as evidenced by this quote compilation that we put together):

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