Reigning MVP Antetokounmpo was averaging career highs in points (29.6) and rebounds (13.7) per game while leading the Bucks to the best record in the league at 53-12. Meanwhile, James and the Los Angeles Lakers sat atop the juggernaut Western Conference at 49-14 and had already clinched the teams’ first playoff berth in seven years.
But there can only be one rightful Most Valuable Player, and Damian Lillard believes LeBron is the most deserving.
«This season I think it’s LeBron,» Lillard told ESPN’s Jalen and Jacoby show. «They’re the No. 1 team in the west, they’ve been consistent all year long, and for him to be at the age he’s at with the amount of miles that he has on his body, how often he’s talked about the pressure that they’ve put on him in every little thing that he does.
«At the level he’s performing at, in my opinion, I think he’s the MVP.»
There are a couple major takeaways here. First, Lillard believes age plays a factor in James’ MVP candidacy. But it’s worth noting that what LeBron, 35, has done is incredible for a player of any age group.
If his current stat line holds when play resumes, James will become just the second player in NBA history to average at least 25 points, 10 assists and five rebounds per game while averaging less than 35 minutes per game.
As Lillard also points out, James was leading the league in assists with 10.6 per game prior to the hiatus. He also played in 60 of the Lakers 63 games, while Giannis played in 57 of his team’s 65 games.
If LeBron James were to hoist the prestigious Maurice Podoloff Trophy for the fifth time of his career, he would tie Michael Jordan and be just one MVP award away from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who has six.
The numbers are scary close between the two NBA All-Star captains, so it will certainly be interesting to see how things transpire once the 2019-20 season resumes play.
Be sure to check out the full Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with host NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon.